- Kari Lake, Trump's pick for Arizona governor, claimed that the Capitol rioters were "invited in by Capitol Police."
- Lake is one of the candidates running in the 2022 gubernatorial election in Arizona.
- She received Trump's endorsement after she suggested that he be added to Mount Rushmore.
A Trump-endorsed candidate for Arizona governor claimed that the Capitol rioters were "invited in by Capitol Police," appearing to push an unproven narrative that the riot was nonviolent.
"They haven't been charged with a crime, and they were invited in by Capitol Police," Kari Lake said during an interview with conservative news network RSBN at former President Donald Trump's Oct. 10 rally in Des Moines, Iowa.
The US Capitol Police Force was criticized for its handling of the Capitol riot after some officers were seen posing with rioters for selfies and moving barricades aside for the mob to move forward.
However, there is plenty of footage and records of officers' injuries to show how violent the breach of the Capitol building was. During a July 27 House select committee on Jan. 6, several Capitol officers testified to the racism and physical harm they experienced during the Jan. 6 riot.
According to the DOJ, more than 1,000 assaults were committed against police officers. However, conservative figures have repeatedly minimized the violence that took place at the Capitol on Jan. 6. In May, Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde likened the Capitol rioters to tourists. And in September, North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn said in an interview that the rioters mainly were "normal people" who were "kind of wandering in."
At press time, 671 people have been charged with crimes in connection with the Capitol insurrection.
Lake did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.
Lake is a former TV anchor who Trump endorsed after she called for his face to be added to Mount Rushmore. Separately, Lake also said she would not have certified the 2020 election results, and has echoed Trump's baseless claims of election fraud.
"Considering how much already at the time information we had about serious irregularities and problems with the election, I would not have certified it right then," Lake said in an interview with right-wing news outlet One American News Network.
There is no evidence that the Arizona election results were unfairly skewed in favor of President Joe Biden. Arizona GOP officials testified before Congress on October 7 that Biden won "free, fair, and accurate elections," per the results of a Republican-driven vote audit in Maricopa County. However, Trump has continued to falsely claim the audit uncovered "undeniable evidence" of fraud.
In his endorsement of Lake, Trump wrote that "few can take on the Fake News Media like Kari," adding that she would make the "MAGA movement very proud."
Trump also took the opportunity to hit out at Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey during his endorsement of Lake's candidacy, saying Lake "will do a far better job than RINO Governor Doug Ducey – won't even be a contest!"
Ducey lost favor with the former president when he certified the state's election results while appearing to reject an incoming call from Trump. Ducey later tweeted on December 1 that all 15 counties had certified their results and that Arizona wasn't going to "disenfranchise any voter"
"That's the law. I've sworn an oath to uphold it, and I take my responsibility seriously," Ducey tweeted.