Trump-Backed Election Loser Kari Lake Hints At Violence At Conservative Gathering
PHOENIX, Ariz. – Former television newscaster and failed Republican candidate for governor Kari Lake hinted at violence to a crowd of thousands of conservative activists Sunday, continuing her claim that she had really won last month.
“On Nov. 8, they committed highway robbery,” she said, to chants of “Kari! Kari!”
Lake, who has sued elections administrators alleging fraud, called the Maricopa County elections system a “house of cards” that she promised to take down. “I’m not just going to knock that house of cards over. We’re going to burn it to the ground,” she said. “They messed with the wrong woman. They messed with the wrong movement, of ‘we the people.’ And we’re not going to take it anymore.”
She then told the crowd that the Second Amendment – the right to bear arms - was in danger because of current leadership, and that that amendment protected all the others.
“You do not steal our vote and get away with it. You don’t,” she added.
Lake, borrowing a tactic of former President Donald Trump, attacked the news media, urging the audience to turn around and boo the “mainstream media” on a riser.
“Their days are numbered,” she said.
It was unclear whether she knew that the people she was insulting were actually a production crew for Turning Point USA, the event organizer.
Lake spent much of her remarks claiming the election had been stolen from her. “They had to steal our vote in broad daylight,” she said. “My pronouns are by the way: I won.”
Lake’s appearance at Turning Point’s “AmericaFest” was promised well before the election, when many conservatives believed she would be doing so as governor-elect of Arizona. The conservative group relocated to Phoenix several years ago after its founding in Illinois. The conference’s attendance – 10,800, according to Turning Point’s founder and head Charlie Kirk – rivals that of the decades-old Conservative Political Action Conference staged by the American Conservative Union.
Until a few weeks ago, the longtime local television news anchor was regarded as one of the brightest stars in the Trump wing of the Republican Party. She enthusiastically embraced his lie that the 2020 election had been “stolen” from him and made that a cornerstone of her race for governor. Lake also flirted with endorsing political violence in the final weeks of the campaign; she was widely criticized for mocking the attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.).
She held fundraisers at his Palm Beach social club ― putting tens of thousands of dollars into his pockets in the process ― and won his endorsement, which she rode to a narrow victory in the Republican primary this summer.
But Lake continued spreading his election lies heading into the general election and wound up losing by 17,000 votes to Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, whom even many Democrats had criticized for running a lackluster campaign.
Exit polling across the country found that many independents and even some Republicans, while unhappy with high inflation and President Joe Biden’s leadership, voted against GOP candidates who pushed Trump’s false election claims.
That key fact, however, appeared not to have made an impression on Lake or any of the other speakers at Turning Point USA’s conference.
Kirk, whose full embrace of Trump in 2016 dramatically increased TPUSA’s influence and fundraising ability during the Trump presidency, lamented the performance of the midterms and said that he and his allies needed a “coherent vision of what we as conservatives believe in and what we are fighting for” ― but did not broach Trump’s unpopularity with a majority of Americans.
Saturday night’s keynote speaker, Fox News host Tucker Carlson, said his “mind was blown” by the midterm results and, after a detailed explanation of how he needed to go pheasant hunting in South Dakota for three days to clear his head, attributed Republicans’ poor showing to unspecified leaders who did not believe in God.
Even Florida GOP congressman Byron Donalds, who began his remarks by touting the “good news” that California Democrat Nancy Pelosi would no longer be speaker but conceded that that was “the end of the good news,” did not blame Trump’s fixation with his 2020 election loss. Instead, Donalds blamed Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, and at the very end, Republicans’ failure to woo more voters in “urban corridors.”
Trump, who continues to lie about the 2020 election, is under criminal investigation by the Department of Justice and state prosecutors in Georgia for his Jan. 6, 2021, coup attempt to remain in power and his various efforts leading up to that day. He is also under DOJ investigation for removing top-secret documents from the White House and keeping them at his Mar-a-Lago social club in Florida, even in defiance of a subpoena ordering that he turn them over.
Despite this, he is running for president again and retains the loyalty of a sizable segment of the Republican primary voting base.