Trump Loyalist and US Senate Candidate Kari Lake Slams NYC Conviction, Speaks In Front of Confederate Flag

Kari Lake, the leading Republican candidate for the US Senate in Arizona, recently delivered a speech in front of a Confederate flag at the “Trumped Store” in Show Low that sells pro-Trump and 2020 election-denier merchandise. During her speech, Lake, who has also disputed the results of her 2022 run for governor, complained about the validity of Donald Trump’s 34 felony convictions in Manhattan and boasted about her relationship with the former president.

“All the news is propaganda,” she said to a cheering crowd holding posters depicting Lake as Rosie the Riveter. “A bookkeeping dispute is what they spent six weeks prosecuting Trump on. I know him personally; he can handle it.”

Trump is scheduled to sit for a virtual interview on Monday with a New York City probation officer from his home in Mar-a-Lago, multiple sources tell NBC News. Doing the meeting virtually is highly irregular, legal experts said, while also noting that Trump visiting the probation office in person would be “very disruptive.”

This kind of all-out support for Trump is not new for Lake, nor an aberration on her campaign trail. From the start, her run for Kyrsten Sinema’s newly available Senate seat has been anchored in the Big Lie, or the false belief that Joe Biden stole the 2020 presidential election from Trump.

During the speech where Lake announced her Senate bid, Trump appeared virtually, endorsing her from a big screen set up behind her podium.

“When I’m in the White House, I’m going to need strong fighters in the Senate,” Trump said. “Kari is one of the toughest fighters in the movement. She is very special.”

Lake is attempting to narrow the polling divide between herself and her Democrat opponent, current House Representative Ruben Gallego. A recent poll shows Gallego, a former US Marine who has been in Arizona politics for over a decade, leading Lake by eight points. Lake hopes to appeal to the same group of Arizonans who came out in 112-degree heat to attend Trump’s Phoenix town hall on Thursday.

It was his first political rally since a New York jury convicted him last month of 34 felonies for falsifying business records to cover up a hush money payment to Stormy Daniels, a porn star, ahead of the 2016 election.

At Lake’s Show Low campaign stop, she was joined by Republican state legislative candidate Steve Slaton, who owns the “Trumped Store” and has been critiqued for allegations that he inflated his military background. While his campaign website claims he served in Vietnam, records obtained by local reporters indicate that he did not join the US Army until after the last US troops left Vietnam.

Trump famously dodged the Vietnam War draft and, as president, argued with Vietnam Vets about a movie depicting the war. Another election denier who appeared to be in attendance, Arizona state senator Wendy Rogers, posted photos of Lake and Slaton arm in arm on X.

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When the New York Times and The Guardian, both of which previously reported on Lake’s recent speech, reached out for comment about her visit to the Trumped Store, her team jabbed at the organizations, critiquing their Op-Ed decisions and British lineage, respectively.

Immediately following Trump’s conviction, Lake, a “failed-gubernatorial-candidate-slash-rabid-election-denier,” released a statement vehemently defending the former president.

“We just witnessed the most egregious example of election interference and an outright mockery of the rule of law in the 246-year history of our Republic,” added Lake. “This entire process right down to the verdict itself has been nothing but a shameful political stunt.”

At the Trumped Store, Lake succinctly reiterated her stance: “Trump has endorsed me. I will have his back. I love Trump.”

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