Election denier Kari Lake says she'd accept Arizona results if 'fair, honest and transparent'

She spoke with ABC Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl for "This Week."

October 21, 2022, 2:59 PM

With the 2022 midterm elections just over two weeks away, a number of Republican candidates nationwide continue to deny the legitimacy of the 2020 election.

Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake is in that category as one of the most outspoken Donald Trump loyalists. She spoke with ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl on Thursday, and in an excerpt on "GMA 3" Friday -- ahead of more of the interview to air Sunday on ABC's "This Week" -- Karl asks her about her border policy proposals and the centerpiece of her campaign: the widely disproven conspiracy that the 2020 election was stolen from the former president, and future election overhauls.

PHOTO: Arizona GOP candidate for Governor, Kari Lake, is shown during an interview with GMA3 and "This Week."
Arizona GOP candidate for Governor, Kari Lake, is shown during an interview with GMA3 and "This Week."
ABC News

Lake did not back down from her false claims of a stolen election during the interview, though she was not as enthusiastic about discussing the topic as she once was.

"It's funny," Lake said to an audience this summer, "I talk to President Trump. He goes, 'I love it. No matter what I ask you, you always bring it right back to the election. I can ask you what the weather's like in Arizona, and you'll say, 'Well, it's nice, but how do I enjoy it when our elections are stolen and we don't have a country?'"

JON KARL: You put forth a very aggressive plan on the border, and -- and one of the things you talked about is -- is finishing the wall. The parts of the wall that weren't completed under President Trump. How -- how does that work given it's so much of that border area is either tribal land or federal land? What do you do --

LAKE: Well hopefully you've read through my policy and we're going to -- on day one issue a declaration of invasion. And we're going to take back control from the federal government of our border. They have seeded control to the worst people --

KARL: So, what does that mean, so you're going to like literally going to say out with the Border Patrol. You're just going to take over --

LAKE: No, we're going to work around them. We're going to work around them. We're going to put people in key areas of -- of the border and we're going to stop people from coming across. We're going to work with the legislature to redefine what abandoned federal property is. Right now, we have millions of dollars of materials to build a border wall sitting on the border, wasting away and we're not using it. We, the taxpayers, paid for that and so we're going to take that back and we're going to start constructing walls.

KARL: How much is this going to cost you? I know you have some the material... But what was your estimate of how much --

LAKE: It varies. It varies. Depending on how it (inaudible) varies because it could be anywhere from $250 million to even more than that, but we're going to find a way to do it.

KARL: And -- and you're --

LAKE: It's about 20 to 27 miles –

KARL: OK.

LAKE: -- to be completed. But we're going to get working on it and it will be really interesting --

KARL: (Inaudible) is not a wall. There's like 300 or so miles --

LAKE: My border plan calls for finishing President Trump's border wall project –

KARL: OK.

LAKE: -- which is about 27 additional miles. There are already challenges and we've worked with the tribes. But we will not allow drugs to be flowing through anywhere.

PHOTO: Arizona GOP candidate for Governor, Kari Lake, is shown during an interview with Jon Karl for GMA3 and "This Week."
Arizona GOP candidate for Governor, Kari Lake, is shown during an interview with Jon Karl for GMA3 and "This Week."
ABC News

KARL: As governor, and I know you have to work with others on this but as governor would you seek to change the election laws? And specifically, would you look to limit early voting and mail-in voting in Arizona?

LAKE: I don't know exactly how we'll do it but we will secure our elections, restore faith in our elections, make sure our elections are honest and transparent. And I will work with the legislature tirelessly to make sure that happens. I want every voter, whether they be Democrat, independent, Green Party, Republican and --

KARL: I assume everybody wants that but specifically early voting and mail-in voting, which you've been very critical of, President Trump's been much more vocally critical of. Would -- would you seek to limit it?

LAKE: I think --

LAKE: -- when I first started voting back in the 80s, we had Election Day. Our Constitution says Election Day. It doesn't say election season, election month and we've watched as our Election Day has turned into election week and election weeks and now election month. And the longer you drag that out, the more fraud with problems there are. We just saw problems in June with Kate Hobbs, my opponent who is incompetent and that's not just my words… Arizona Supreme Court called her incompetent in her duties as secretary of state. She just put out 10,000 -- 6,000 ballots that went -- the wrong type of ballots to the wrong people --

KARL: Right. There we had the federal but she -- she was the one who pointed this out and said she'd correct it.

LAKE: Well, I don't care if she pointed it out --

KARL: But they are correcting it.

KARL: But just to be clear, the Republicans on the Board of Supervisors, the Republican governor, now the Republican candidate for Senate running along with you by the Republican attorney general under Donald Trump Bill Barr, all said that there -- that there wasn't -- you know that the election was -- was not stolen.

LAKE: OK. Are we going to litigate this --

KARL: No, I'm just -- I'm just wondering why they would all lie?

LAKE: But you guys are (inaudible) a lot of corruption in the system and they don't want -- I think a lot of people who were responsible for that election know that there were rules broken and laws broken. And they don't want to admit fault. And I certainly hope that we're going to talk more about elections today because I say here today to talk about my policies.

KARL: Well, we've been talking [about] a whole bunch of other things besides elections. But since you brought up --

LAKE: But I find it funny.

KARL: Since you brought up -- I didn't ask about 2020, I just asked about --

LAKE: I do find it funny that the media thinks I'm -- I'm only talking about elections. I'm talking about a lot things.

KARL: But -- but let's be completely clear. You actually brought it up, not me, I asked you about -- about the rules and about early voting and if you would change the rule.

LAKE: Yes.

KARL: I didn't ask you about 2020, you brought it up.

LAKE: And I want to explain to you why mail-in ballots can be fraught with error

KARL: But let me ask you why it is that you have not said -- or maybe you'll do it now, you have not said that you won't accept the certified results of this election even if you lose this election?

LAKE: I -- I will accept the results of this election if we have a fair, honest, and transparent election. Absolutely 100 percent.

KARL: So -- so if -- if -- if you were to lose, and you're ahead, but if you were to lose and you went out and you had all your appeal they went through --

LAKE: As long as it's fair, honest and transparent.

KARL: And certified ...

LAKE: It looks like my opponent might have to determine that.

KARL: Well she is the secretary --

LAKE: That's an interest -- that's an interesting conundrum isn't it.

More of Jonathan Karl's interview with GOP Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake can be seen Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

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