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Kari Lake Makes Light of Pelosi Attack, Draws Laughter at Campaign Event

Newsweek 11/1/2022 Aila Slisco
Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake is pictured during an event in Mesa, Arizona on October 9, 2022. © Mario Tama/Getty Images Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake is pictured during an event in Mesa, Arizona on October 9, 2022.

Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake has drawn laughter and applause after making a flippant remark about the violent attack on the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Paul Pelosi suffered multiple injuries including a fractured skull after suspected attacker David Depape allegedly broke into the couple's San Francisco home and attacked him with a hammer early on Friday morning. During an "Ask Me Anything" campaign event on Monday, Lake made light of the situation while speaking about security at schools and commenting on home security at the Pelosi residence.

"Nancy Pelosi, well, she's got protection when she's in D.C. Apparently, her house doesn't have a lot of protection," said Lake, prompting uproarious laughter from the audience and the event's onstage moderator.

Lake blamed "the policies of the left" and "leftist elected officials" for the attack on Paul Pelosi during a Fox News interview on Friday. Other prominent Republicans have also blamed liberal policies on crime for the break-in and attack.

Police say that Depape—who like Lake, has expressed support for false claims that the 2020 presidential election was "stolen" from former President Donald Trump—broke into the home in an attempt to kidnap and possibly injure Nancy Pelosi.

Lake was far from the only conservative to make light of the attack or use it as an opportunity to lash out at Democrats ahead of the November 8 midterm elections.

Republican Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin received backlash following a GOP campaign event on Friday, when he briefly mentioned the attack and pledged to send Nancy Pelosi "back to be with" her injured husband in California.

Others have spread a false conspiracy theory claiming that Paul Pelosi and Depape knew each other and were both wearing only underwear during the incident, while the break-in was staged and the injuries to Pelosi were due to a type of violent lover's quarrel.

Multiple conservatives on social media cited the conspiracy while mocking Paul Pelosi, who remains hospitalized, in the days following the attack.

Donald Trump Jr. shared to Twitter and later deleted a meme featuring a hammer and pair of underwear described as a "Paul Pelosi Halloween costume." In an additional tweet on Monday, he mockingly issued a call to "ban all hammers."

New Twitter owner Elon Musk also tweeted and later deleted a debunked fake news article promoting the conspiracy theory on Monday.

Depape is facing federal felony charges of assault, attempted kidnapping and attempted murder.

After carrying out the attack, Depape likened himself to one of the U.S. Founding Fathers and told police that he was "fighting against tyranny without the option of surrender," according to an FBI affidavit released by the Department of Justice on Monday

Newsweek reached out to the Lake campaign for comment.

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