Handel on Trump: ‘Let the facts take us where the facts take us’

Republican Karen Handel gave her most extensive comments yet about the string of controversies facing President Donald Trump, saying media reports that he shared classified information with Russian officials are “potentially a gross assumption” by the press.

“I don’t know what happened. And with all due respect, none of us do because we’re not in the middle of the secured briefings,” said Handel, who faces Democrat Jon Ossoff in the June 20 runoff for the 6th District. “So I’m going to let the process work.”

She added: “We have investigations underway ... I would suggest that all of us would let the process play out, and let the facts take us where the facts take us.”

She was pressed on why she thought it was a “gross assumption.”

“I’m just saying we can’t make a judgment at this point what was appropriate or not appropriate," Handel said. "We don’t know. We weren’t in the briefings and I’m not going to have a rush to judgment until there are facts on the table.”

Ossoff said last week he wasn’t ready to use the i-word – impeachment – but that there was ample evidence of the need for a “serious, independent transparent investigation” into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia.


Karen Handel’s short-lived stint at the Susan G. Komen Foundation was a key part of her campaign for U.S. Senate in 2014. But she doesn't often mention it on the stump in her 6th district race.

She was asked Sunday if she thinks her controversial time as a public policy executive at the foundation – she resigned after the breast cancer charity reversed a decision to cut ties with Planned Parenthood – was not as relevant anymore.

“People want to know that I’m a person of conviction,” she said. “I think it’s unfortunate that my opponent wants to just be on the attack, especially when the majority of his attacks have been proven to be lies. But that’s what you do when you’re losing.”

Ossoff’s campaign released an ad last week calling her time at the foundation “unforgivable” and he has assailed her position on Planned Parenthood as “nonsense.”

Komen played a key role in her 2014 bid for U.S. Senate, and she often brought up her high-profile departure to conservative audiences to highlight her opposition to abortion rights. Here's how she addressed it during a 2013 visit to a Peach County GOP meeting:

Karen Handel at a Peach County event in July 2013 from Greg Bluestein on Vimeo.

“There’s only one person running for the U.S. Senate who has had to actually stand up for her pro-life convictions," she said at that 2013 event. "And that is me. I was at the center of the Komen Foundation-slash-Planned Parenthood issue. And I chose, because of my convictions, to walk away – I’m not speaking out of terms because it was in the newspaper – from a $235,000 a year job over my convictions, pro-life.”


Casey Cagle is running for governor. Casey Cagle is also lieutenant governor. So when Casey Cagle uses his lieutenant governor’s official account to push for policies he’s advocating in his gubernatorial bid, it’s sure to raise eyebrows.

We heard from two GOPers about Cagle’s release highlighting his push to give every Georgian broadband access.

“To those that think my vision is impossible: just Google our success in a couple of years – I guarantee you’ll be able to in all Georgia communities,” the piece ended.

Cagle’s office said the releases are on the up-and-up. His spokesman Adam Sweat said it is “fully within his purview to discuss needed policy for the state of Georgia.”


Democratic attorney Jennifer Jordan is running for the swingy Buckhead-based Senate seat about to be vacated by Republican Hunter Hill.

Jordan is a well-known trial lawyer who filed the lawsuit that revealed Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office released personal information, including social security numbers and other confidential data, for millions of voters to political parties and media outlets.

Hill barely won re-election in November and Hillary Clinton handily took his district, which stretches through parts of DeKalb and Fulton counties. Democrat Jaha Howard, who was narrowly defeated in that contest, will also run again.

Among the Republican names we’ve heard for that contest: Jim Kingston, a GOP operative in the insurance business who is the son of the former Republican lawmaker.

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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.