Trump demands election loser Kari Lake be "installed" as governor in late-night Truth Social rant

Trump claims Arizona elections were a "criminal voting operation" despite no evidence of fraud

By Areeba Shah

Staff Writer

Published November 28, 2022 12:04PM (EST)

Former U.S. President Donald Trump embraces Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake at a campaign rally at Legacy Sports USA on October 09, 2022 in Mesa, Arizona. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Former U.S. President Donald Trump embraces Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake at a campaign rally at Legacy Sports USA on October 09, 2022 in Mesa, Arizona. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump called for Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake to be installed as governor after falsely claiming that the elections in Arizona were a "criminal voting operation."

Lake, who repeatedly refused to say she would accept the results of the governor's race in Arizona if she lost, still hasn't conceded to Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs. Still, several of her allies, including Trump, are claiming that the election was fraudulent despite no evidence of voter fraud.

"Massive numbers of 'BROKEN' voting machines in Republican Districts on Election Day. Mechanics sent in to 'FIX' them made them worse. Kari had to be taken to a Democrat area, which was working perfectly, to vote. Her opponent ran the Election. This is yet another criminal voting operation - SO OBVIOUS. Kari Lake should be installed Governor of Arizona. This is almost as bad as the 2020 Presidential Election, which the Unselect Committee refuses to touch because they know it was Fraudulent!" Trump wrote on Truth Social.

Journalist Jeremy Duda noted that virtually everything Trump claimed is "inaccurate".

"Lake didn't have to switch voting centers because there were no printer issues at PV Town Hall. Her opponent didn't run the election. Technicians didn't make the printer problems worse. No 'voting machines' were broken," Duda tweeted.

Attorney Ron Filipkowski pointed out the time stamp on the post.

"2:30 AM post: 'Kari Lake should be installed Governor of Arizona,'" Filipkowski wrote

On Election Day, Republican Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates said that 60 polling sites experienced printing problems with the ink not printing dark enough to be readable by tabulators. But the issue was resolved before polls closed and all valid votes were counted, he said. 

Maricopa County officials added that the malfunctioning ballot-counting machines did not indicate any instances of "fraud" and did not deny anyone the opportunity to vote.

But Lake and her allies have claimed that Arizona's "broken election system" disenfranchised Republican voters and stole her victory. 

Her team filed a lawsuit against Maricopa County elections officials last week, claiming that they broke election laws. She called the 2022 election "the shoddiest election ever, in history" on Steve Bannon's "War Room" podcast, CBS News reported

"We want some information," Lake said. "We're on a timeline, a very strict timeline when it comes to fighting this botched election, and they're dragging their feet."  

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Lake also added that 118 polling centers appeared to have a "printer/tabulation problem," even though officials previously said there were 60 polling centers with printer issues.

Her allies have continued to back her and have promoted false theories of voter fraud.  

State Senator-elect Jake Hoffman told Reuters he will lead an investigation into the state's election when the legislature reconvenes in January.

Steve Bannon, Trump's former chief strategist and election conspiracy theorist, has urged Arizona officials not to certify the election and said that Hobbs "will never be considered legitimate" due to voting machine mishaps.  

Bannon, who advised Trump to try to overturn the presidential election results, is also providing counsel to Lake.

The Trump-backed former news anchor denied the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Since Election Day, she has been alleging problems in Maricopa County – Arizona's largest county.

In a video Lake released last week, she said she has "assembled the best and brightest legal team" to explore "every avenue to correct the many wrongs that have been done".

Lake's Republican colleague, Abe Hamadeh, who ran for attorney general and lost by 510 votes to his Democratic opponent, Kris Mayes, also filed a lawsuit against his challenger as well as state and local officials, seeking to overturn his defeat.

By Areeba Shah

Areeba Shah is a staff writer at Salon covering news and politics. Previously, she was a research associate at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and a reporting fellow for the Pulitzer Center, where she covered how COVID-19 impacted migrant farmworkers in the Midwest.

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