Kari Lake Delivered a Speech in Front of a Confederate Flag

Kari Lake Delivered a Speech in Front of a Confederate Flag

Kari Lake, the leading Republican candidate for Senate in Arizona, delivered a speech in front of a Confederate flag at a Trump-themed merchandise store in Show Low, Ariz., last week.

Footage of the speech, which was obtained by The New York Times, showed Ms. Lake on May 31 repeating lies about the 2020 election’s having been stolen from former President Donald J. Trump as she stood in front of a Confederate battle standard hanging in the store. The flag has become the one most associated with the Confederacy in the modern era.

“I am the only person running for U.S. Senate, either Republican or Democrat, who truly believes there was fraud in the election in 2020 — does anyone else here believe that?” Ms. Lake said to cheers and applause. She later added: “We are still fighting. We have more fight in us. We have a lot of cases going.”

The store, known as the Trumped Store, sells a variety of pro-Trump and 2020 election-denier merchandise as well as the Confederate battle flag and the Confederate national flag. The store also sells merchandise with slogans attacking President Biden, including “Let’s Go Brandon” and “F.J.B.,” which stands for a phrase that includes an expletive. A number of products also feature the phrase “Trump won,” in support of Mr. Trump’s lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

In a statement, the Lake campaign defended her appearance at the store by saying: “Kari went to a store. The New York Times published an op-ed from the terrorist organization the Taliban. Do you approve of the Taliban?” In another statement, to The Guardian, which earlier reported Ms. Lake’s appearance at the store, the campaign said: “The Kari Lake campaign does not respond to British propaganda outlets. We stopped doing that in 1776.”

The local news media in Arizona had also reported on Ms. Lake’s appearance at the Trumped Store earlier this week.

The New Mexico territory, which at the time of the Civil War included what became Arizona, was a battleground of the war. Confederate forces were quickly driven from the territory, and the U.S. government split Arizona into its own U.S. territory, abolishing slavery in the process.

Ms. Lake has denied the results of the 2020 election and of her own loss in the governor’s race in Arizona in 2022. In her campaign for governor, her fiery demeanor and combativeness alienated some of the state’s voters, including moderate Republicans. Ms. Lake has sought to take a more tempered tone this time around, urged by the Republican establishment in Washington to tone down her rhetoric and her claims of election fraud. She has tried to court some of the Republicans who balked at her candidacy in 2022.

Still, she has continued to repeat unfounded claims of election fraud and has occasionally made comments that undermine the new approach.

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