Update (11/14/22): According to The Washington Post, Steve Bannon was in touch with the Kari Lake campaign in recent days before his Monday, November 14, broadcast and is reportedly “clear-eyed about the unfavorable numbers” she faces in the race.
Echoing the stolen election rhetoric that led to the deadly January 6 insurrection, former Trump strategist and podcaster Steve Bannon and his guests are now calling for Arizona election officials to refuse to certify the midterm election results.
Bannon was instrumental in plotting the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and often discussed his plans on his show, War Room: Pandemic. Bannon is again pushing the same dangerous rhetoric claiming that Democrats stole an election. This exact conspiracy theory is what led droves of MAGA supporters to attempt to stop the 2020 presidential election certification.
Votes are still being counted in Arizona and the race for governor has not been called. This has not stopped conspiracy theorists from claiming that the race is being stolen from Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake, including Lake herself.
During the November 14 edition of his show, Bannon and his guests repeatedly discussed how Arizona should refuse to certify the midterm results because the election has already been stolen from Lake.
Bannon hosted True the Vote’s QAnon-linked founders Gregg Phillips and Catherine Engelbrecht to comment on the Arizona race.
After both True the Vote leaders had spouted conspiracy theories that the Arizona election was allegedly stolen, Engelbrecht asserted that “we have to stop the certification” of the results.
Bannon agreed, “Yes, we have to stop the certification. No doubt.”
Later, Bannon asked Phillips, “What’s the process here to even discuss how this thing can be certified or not?”
Phillips responded that he “had the great opportunity to speak with Kari last night” and “the one thing that she and I both agreed upon was that it’s time — now is the time to fight,” adding that “we will not allow” Democratic gubernatorial nominee and current Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs “to certify her own stolen election.”
Bannon later added, “Unless it's high and tight — high and tight — it's not certifiable.”
Bannon then interviewed Lake senior adviser Caroline Wren, asking, “How could you possibly certify this election, ma’am? How could it be certified?”
When Wren did not respond directly to Bannon’s question about certification, instead calling for incumbent Republican Gov. Doug Ducey to call an emergency legislative session for “election reform,” the host pressed her and asked again, “Can it be certified in your mind? Yes or no.”
Wren responded, “I’ll leave that discussion for others, and — you know Katie Hobbs is part of the certifiers who do this — but I do know that we are going to fight, fight, fight for every single legal vote to be counted.”
Later in the episode, former Trump strategic adviser Boris Epshteyn asserted that Democrats and establishment Arizona Republicans are “stealing this election from MAGA, stealing it from the American people.”
Epshteyn added, “We’ve got to be fighting, we cannot be accepting the rigging and stealing of American elections. We’ve been talking about it for two years.”
In 2020, Bannon used the same playbook of urging Republicans to block certification in states that he claimed were stolen by Democrats. At the time, Bannon advised states to not certify election results by the December 8 “safe harbor” deadline in an effort to block the counting of electoral votes.
Bannon is now pushing a similar strategy.