Bob Gray under fire for new claims about Trump credentials in Georgia special election

Republican Bob Gray's campaign was called out on CNN late Thursday for falsely claiming he was the only candidate in the Sixth District congressional contest "who personally campaigned for the Trump-Pence team, while others refused to stand against Hillary."

The former Johns Creek city councilman, slipping in some recent polls, sent the robocall to conservative voters in the suburban Atlanta district. Running as a "willing partner" to President Donald Trump, he's come over heavy fire from his rivals about his pro-Trump bona fides.

Gray's claim as the only Republican in the race "who personally campaigned" for Trump is easily refutable.

Bruce LeVell was head of Trump's diversity coalition -- LeVell trekked to Washington on Wednesday for a meeting with the president that he hoped would boost his campaign. Another candidate, tea party organizer Amy Kremer, stumped for Trump across the nation, and has earned the endorsement of Trump allies Sean Hannity and Katrina Pierson.

A Gray spokesman pointed to Gray's use of the phrase "leading Republicans" early in the minute-long call - a reference to Karen Handel, Dan Moody and Judson Hill. His campaign cited poll numbers that show LeVell and Kremer near the bottom of the back.

"CNN distorting the truth with misleading headlines must mean we're heading to a runoff," said Gray in a statement. "As I clearly said in the robocall, I'm the only leading candidate that worked to help Trump."

You can hear the audio below:

[soundcloud url="" params="color=ff5500" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

This isn't the first time Gray's campaign has been accused of questionable tactics. His campaign has employed a no-holds-barred brands of political gamesmanship that has infuriated some of his rivals.

And it sent out a hoax press release, under the banner "breaking news," falsely claiming that Republican Karen Handel had dropped out of the contest and endorsed him. The campaign said it was an April Fools' joke, although it coupled it with a YouTube video with edited audio.

Insider's note: This item was ripped and expanded from the Morning Jolt.

More AJC coverage of the Sixth District race:

Nearly $14M in ads have flooded Georgia’s Sixth for special election

Ossoff pulls in record donations for Georgia special election

Georgia Democrats, Republicans seek lessons in tight Kansas race

With Ossoff at the gates, Republicans try to fortify Georgia’s Sixth

Ossoff fights 'top-secret' attacks in Georgia special election

Staff raids and social media hijinks: GOP infighting ramps up in Georgia Sixth

In the final week, Karen Handel becomes a target for GOP rivals

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.