One day after it was discovered that Kari Lake was offered a bribe not to run for U.S. Senate, the Arizona candidate and Trump supporter is demanding the resignation of the state GOP chairman who made the offer to her.
Jeff DeWit “has to resign,” she said. “We can’t have someone who is corrupt and compromised running the Republican Party,” Lake told NBC News at former President Donald Trump’s victory celebration after winning the New Hampshire primary.
The Daily Mail initially discovered a hidden audio of Lake and DeWit’s conversation, in which the Arizona GOP chairman asked her how much it would take to deter her from running against Sen. Kristen Sinema (I-AZ).
“There are very powerful people who want to keep you out,” DeWit said, adding that these figures are coming from the “east.”
“Just say, is there a number at which…” he said, before Lake interrupted him.
“I can be bought? That’s what it’s about,” she shot back.
“You can take a pause for a couple of years,” DeWit continued. “You can go right back to what you’re doing.”
“No… 10 million, 20 million, 30… no, no, no. A billion? No. This is not about money. This is about our country,” she replied. “I’m not going to let these people who hate our f***ing country tell me not to run. I’m not going to let these people who hate our country tell me not to run. You should call them and tell them to get behind me.”
DeWit, a former state treasurer, has a contentious relationship with Lake. In May of last year, she approached him at a restaurant, accusing him of failing to back up her claims that she was unfairly defeated in the 2022 governor’s election.
Lake’s resignation request has been echoed primarily by conservative online supporters, rather than other high-profile candidates or elected officials, but it adds pressure on former President Trump to perhaps encourage DeWit, his campaign’s chief operations officer in 2016, to gracefully step down.
After the scandal went national, Kari Lake has been vocal about her refusal to take the bribery offer and holding it up as an insidious example of the kind of corruption that may be pervasive in the American system.
“I want corruption rooted out of our government. I don’t care if it’s on the Democrat side or the Republican side. We are going to root out corruption,” she said.