Kari Lake Suspended From Twitter for Attack Ad

Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake speaks during a Trump rally to "Save America" in Florence, Arizona.
Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake speaks during a Trump rally to "Save America" in Florence, Arizona. Jacob Tyler Dunn
Gubernatorial candidate and former Phoenix newscaster Kari Lake was suspended from Twitter on Friday morning for her latest attack ad against GOP opponent Karrin Taylor Robson.

With just over a week left until the August 2 primary, the race for the Republican nomination for governor has devolved into mudslinging, with both candidates accusing the other of being a fake conservative. Taylor Robson's campaign deployed new signs that accuse Lake of being a "never-Trumper," based on an old Facebook post from Lake's more liberal days.

Lake, meanwhile, recently noticed the Arizona Republic's reporting from April about Taylor Robson's dubious campaign financing tactics, which trapped unwitting elderly donors into recurring donations β€” and has been ragging on her opponent for it. "She's a thief!" one recent ad said. The video, posted on Twitter, racked up several hundred thousand views.

The ad, however, apparently exposed "private information" by displaying a phone number, at least according to Twitter. It's not clear if the personal information was Robson's or one of the seniors from whom she was soliciting donations. A Twitter spokesperson told The Daily Beast that Lake was "required to delete the violative Tweet" before regaining account access.

Lake immediately cried censorship.

"We must be right over the target," Lake said in a Telegram post with a photo of her locked Twitter account. "The RINOs, the Media, The Left & Big Tech β€” they are ALL trying to bring down our Movement." She then asked supporters for donations.

"It’s awfully rich (and not in the gold digging way) that Karrin would complain to Twitter because we exposed her predatory ploy to dupe senior citizens out of their retirement," Ross Trumble, communications director for Lake's campaign, wrote in an email to New Times on Friday.

Lake's concerns about Taylor Robson's fundraising tactics aren't unfounded β€” but Lake has also come under scrutiny for her own money recently. The Republic reported this week that a political action committee that has put $2.1 million towards Lake's campaign appears to trace back to a shady shell company.

Later on Friday, Lake reappeared on Twitter, having apparently deleted the problematic video. She reposted a new version of the video, featuring testimonials from retirees who unknowingly made donations to Taylor Robson.

Taylor Robson's campaign did not respond to questions from the New Times.

Lake's suspension from the platform came the same day she is scheduled to speak alongside former president Donald Trump at his rally in Prescott Valley. Trump has been a major benefactor of Lake's campaign.

Also Friday, former vice president Mike Pence was scheduled to stump in Arizona for Taylor Robson.
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Katya Schwenk is a staff writer for Phoenix New Times. Originally from Burlington, Vermont, she now covers issues ranging from policing to far-right politics here in Phoenix. She has worked as a breaking news correspondent in Rabat, Morocco, for Morocco World News, a government technology reporter for Scoop News Group in Washington, D.C., and a local reporter in Vermont for VTDigger. Her freelance work has been published in Business Insider, the Intercept, and the American Prospect, among other places.
Contact: Katya Schwenk