Kari Lake, Republican nominee for Governor of Arizona, claimed journalists tried to “influence this election”. News outlets reported on a break in at Katie Hobbs’s office earlier in the week, and the Arizona Democratic Party made claims that she was directly responsible.
“My desperate opponent, who sinks like lead weight in the water, pulled off a stunt and you guys gave it a try. You all agreed to a defamatory statement by her. You failed to fulfill your journalistic duties. It was malpractice in journalism like I’ve never seen,” Lake stated during a Thursday press conference with reporters after police announced that a suspect was being held in connection to the burglary.
Nearly every campaign event Lake engages in public fights with the media. Her team records the exchanges. This footage is often shared via social media, which generates viral moments as well as free media coverage. She often asks her supporters to greet her at her rallies, often to their delight.
On Thursday, Lake was pictured alongside posters with headlines from national news outlets that covered the incident.
Daniel Mota Dos Reis (36), is accused of breaking into Hobbs headquarters in Phoenix around 7 p.m. on Monday and stealing multiple items.
According to the Phoenix Police Department, a patrol officer identified the suspect through surveillance images. Dos Reis was also arrested earlier in the day on suspicion of a separate burglary. Dos Reis was remanded and charged with third-degree burglary.
The break-in appears to have no connection with politics. Even before police said they had arrested a suspect in the break-in, Democrats claimed Kari Lake was responsible for her rhetoric, while Lake suggested that the break-in was staged.
Hobbs declined to discuss the break-in at a Planned Parenthood roundtable on Thursday morning. Hobbs’ campaign claimed it was made aware of the arrest, but did not provide any details on the items that were taken from the office.
Nicole DeMont, Hobbs’s campaign manager responded to her opponent who suggested that the burglary had been staged.
DeMont stated in a statement that “Kari Lake’s absurd allegation that the break-in was staged” and that her refusal to condemn threats that have become more common in politics continue to fuel chaos.
A GOP operative who saw Lake’s Thursday press conference said that he was worried about the future of political coverage, having witnessed the hostility towards the media.
“Lake is wagering war against the media. He said that he believed she was dangerous for free and fair media.