Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake sparred with CNN’s Dana Bash over unfounded claims of mass election fraud in 2020 during an interview on Sunday.
“You called the 2020 election corrupt, stolen, rotten and rigged, and there was no evidence of any of that presented in a court of law or anywhere else that any of those things are true. So why do you keep saying that?” Bash asked Lake on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“Well, there’s plenty of evidence,” Lake responded. “We had 740,000 ballots with no chain of custody. Those ballots shouldn’t have been counted.”
A series of investigations into Arizona’s 2020 elections failed to find evidence of substantial fraud that would have overturned President Biden’s victory in the state.
The state attorney general’s interim report suggested it was possible that between 100,000 and 200,000 ballots were transported without a proper chain of custody, but the report did not allege that mass fraud occurred.
Lake went on to portray the media as covering only “one side” of the issue, while Bash repeatedly contested Lake’s claims of electoral fraud.
“Are you undermining faith in elections by saying that the 2020 election was stolen when there’s absolutely no evidence to support that?” Bash asked.
“In 2018, Stacey Abrams never conceded. She still hasn’t,” Lake said. “I don’t hear CNN calling her an election denier.”
“We have the right — it’s protected with our First Amendment — to question our government and to question elections,” Lake continued. “We still have the First Amendment, and when you start seeing the media cancel people for questioning their government, then that’s when we have a problem.”
Bash subsequently played clips of former Attorney General William Barr and former acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue testifying before the House Jan. 6 committee that former President Trump’s claims of election fraud in 2020 were false, asking Lake why she doesn’t believe them.
“Dana, you want to have me on here and talk 2020 election, and you’re —” Lake said.
“I would never bring this up ever had you not been bringing this up consistently on the campaign trail,” Bash responded.
During a subsequent interview on “State of the Union” with Lake’s opponent, Katie Hobbs, the Arizona Democrat lambasted Lake’s position.
“This is disqualifying,” Hobbs said. “This is a basic core of our democracy, and she has nothing else to run on.”