Republican Senate candidate Kelli Ward appeared at a pro-Trump rally featuring 9/11 conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and dirty trickster Roger Stone.
Supporters of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump held an “America First Unity Rally” on July 18. The rally’s roster included speakers and hosts who have lobbed racist and sexist attacks against opponents; called for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders’ executions; openly discriminated against minorities; led the movement that claims the 9/11 attacks were an “inside job”; and alleged that President Obama and Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) are not American citizens.
The rally recently hit a speed bump after organizers were forced to drop a white nationalist website that had previously been featured in promotional materials as a sponsor.
Ward is a former Arizona state senator who is challenging Sen. John McCain in the Republican primary. She appeared during the initial stages of the rally and expressed her support for Trump.
This isn’t Ward’s first time pandering to extreme elements of the conservative movement.
Ward previously appeared on Alex Jones’ March 23 program and asked Jones’ audience for campaign contributions. Ward promised to return to the show when she’s elected to the U.S. Senate. Jones endorsed Ward and instructed his audience to send Ward money.
The Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts criticized her appearance, noting that Jones “believes that 9/11 was an inside government job and that Barack Obama unleashes tornadoes with his secret weather machine. He believes the government is creating gay people by sneaking chemicals into your sons’ juice boxes and that the Tucson massacre -- the one that left six people dead and 13 injured, including then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords -- was a government ‘mind-control operation.’”
Stone tweeted on March 23 that “I will be working for @kelliwardaz - GOP Primary- August-Kiss @JohnMcCain goodbye!” Ward said in April “that Stone is not officially working for the campaign -- though she didn’t deny that he may be aiding her steep battle. ‘As far as I know, he does not work directly for us,’ she said. ‘I don’t know Roger Stone, I’ve never met him and never talked to him.’”
Media Matters reporter Joe Strupp spoke to Ward after her speech and the Republican distanced herself from Jones and his 9/11 conspiracy theories.
“I don't know him well,” Ward said of Jones. “I was on with him once and got a lot of play from that.”
Ward said that she doesn't believe as Jones does that the 9/11 attacks were an inside job.
The Republican said she was invited to the rally by Stone. Stone has a decades-long history of employing political dirty tricks, and he regularly spouts violent, racist, and sexist rhetoric, including calling Hillary Clinton a “cunt” and advocating her execution.
Media Matters' Joe Strupp contributed reporting to this post.