An ABC News reporter sought to corner Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake with one of the left’s favorite gotcha questions for Republicans: Do you think Joe Biden is the legitimate president?
Having worked as press secretary for multiple U.S. Senate candidates, I admire both Lake’s handling of the question and her media team for separately videoing the exchange.
The interview was clearly not a live shot, meaning the reporter would have been able to cut footage to tell the story she wanted to portray about the candidate.
Lake knew this full-well, having been an anchor for the Fox affiliate KSAZ-TV in Phoenix for over 20 years before leaving last year out of frustration with the biased direction the outlet had taken.
Lake first responded to the ABC News reporter’s Biden inquiry saying, “Well, he’s obviously sitting in the White House.”
The reporter followed up by asking if Lake believes the election was stolen — is Biden really the legitimate president?
At a rally former President Donald Trump held outside of Phoenix last month, Lake called the 2020 race “rotten to its core,” adding, “You don’t steal our vote” and just expect people to accept it.
WATCH: The Media just won’t learn their lesson. They continue to try and stump me, but I know their game better than they do.
— Kari Lake for AZ Governor (@KariLake) February 3, 2022
Lake turned the tables on the ABC reporter, asking, “Do you think that Joe Biden garnered 81 million votes? Do you think the elections were fair?
“The problem is that the American people don’t have all the answers because the media is part of the problem,” Lake continued. “Media’s not reporting it. Media’s never reported our forensic audit fairly. They’re not reporting what’s happening in Georgia. They’re not reporting on these ballot traffickers that are being paid to drop off ballots.”
The auditors raised concerns about the existence of 34,448 duplicate ballot envelopes from 17,126 unique voters, raising the specter that approximately 17,000 voters may have cast two or more ballots. (This does not mean that any of these votes was counted twice, but experts suggested it be investigated further.)
By the official count, Biden won the Grand Canyon State in 2020 by 10,457 votes.
Further, Arizona Senate President Karen Fann highlighted in a September letter to the state’s Attorney General Mark Brnovich that the auditors found that Maricopa County overwrote the Election Management System’s security logs showing activity on the server.
“This was accomplished by churning more than 37,000 identical queries several days after the court ordered Maricopa County to produce the election materials to the Arizona Senate,” she wrote.
Senate President Karen Fann’s letter to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, concerning the Maricopa County Forensic Audit pic.twitter.com/TYOb1zRiEr
— Republican Party of Arizona (@AZGOP) September 25, 2021
Fann added that the county also failed to provide “documentation sufficient to reconcile duplicated ballots to corresponding original” ones.
Duplicate ballots are those created by election officials when the originals are unreadable by the ballot counting machines. According to the county, nearly 28,000 ballots were sent for duplication.
In a document released following the audit, Maricopa County responded, saying the duplicate ballot envelopes the auditors discovered were actually multiple scans of the same envelopes, which occurs when a voter “cures” issues — such as the envelope lacking a signature. Only one ballot is counted per voter, the county said.
The county explained the churning of the logs was part of “standard archival steps” and preparation for a March 2021 local election and was in compliance with the Senate’s subpoena.
During a U.S. House hearing in October, Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs pressed Maricopa County officials over their failure to turn over all the materials sought by auditors.
The county said many election database files had been archived and not specifically requested in the Senate’s subpoenas.
Biggs confirmed with Maricopa Board of Supervisors member Bill Gates that the archived files were not turned over to the audit team.
“They did not subpoena those. That is correct,” Gates said, drawing a chuckle from Biggs.
Rep Biggs: You tweeted out that you deleted the 2020 files as is standard practice. Now that you’re under oath, will you say that?
Maricopa County bro 1: Uh…. We don’t have that answer for you.
Biggs: What you you?
Maricopa County bro 2: Uh…
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) October 8, 2021
“OK, so you didn’t feel obligated to turn that over, then?” the congressman queried.
“We responded to the subpoena,” Gates reiterated.
Biggs then turned to Senate audit liaison and former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett for his reaction to Gates’ explanation.
“I find it frankly laughable to suggest that a county in response to a subpoena could say, ‘We will delete files from the hard drives and materials that we give to the auditors because we have those files archived on data that we did not give to the auditors,’ when the subpoena said, ‘Turn over all the records related to the election,’” Bennett said.
Meanwhile, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger confirmed last month that his office was investigating allegations that large-scale illegal ballot harvesting took place during the 2020 general election in his state.
The investigation came in response to complaints filed by True the Vote in November.
The group said it had “assembled evidence that scores of activists worked with nonprofit groups to collect and deliver thousands of absentee ballots, often during wee-hour operations, to temporary voting drop boxes distributed around the state during the pandemic,” Just the News reported.
Ballot harvesting is illegal under Georgia law, which requires absentee ballots to be either mailed in or personally delivered unless the voter is disabled, in which case a family or household member can deliver the ballot.
“True the Vote’s complaint offered Raffensperger’s office access to what are characterized as detailed phone records and surveillance video it said would show as many as 242 people repeatedly made trips to the drop boxes to deliver ballots in what it described as a mass ‘ballot trafficking operation,’” Just the News reported.
True the Vote reportedly obtained access to some of the video footage through an open records request when it began its investigation.
Some of the video apparently will be featured in conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza’s upcoming documentary “2,000 Mules,” due out this spring.
In the trailer, D’Souza says, “We tracked 2,000 mules making multiple ballot drops, leaving no fingerprints, snapping photos to get paid, a coordinated ring of illegal vote harvesting in all the key states where the election was decided.”
“There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.”
Oh, yeah? pic.twitter.com/Zurq2hSO0P
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) January 30, 2022
The trailer highlights the states of Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia places where this alleged illegal conduct occurred.
True the Vote, which worked with D’Souza for the film, says on its website that in addition to Georgia, it will be releasing “shockingly similar findings” in five other states.
During the ABC News interview, Lake predicted that the American people will eventually get the full story of what happened in the 2020 election.
She noted that outlets like ABC, CNN and MSNBC spun the false narrative that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election.
“And now they’re doing the opposite. We have evidence of corruption in our election, and they refuse to cover it. They refuse to be honest with the people of this country,” Lake said. “When you’re lying to the people and you’re in media, that’s a bad business model.”
Bravo! We need an honest assessment of what happened in 2020, so the needed changes can be made to prevent fraud.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
UPDATE, May 4, 2022: Politifact published an article citing several academics and reported experts who dispute some of the claims made by True the Vote and “2,000 Mules.” Readers interested in this additional information can find that article here.