A leaked recording between Kari Lake and Arizona GOP Chairman Jeff DeWit shocked the nation, but it also left a lot of questions unanswered. Did Lake record and leak this tape? Why did she feel the need to record it? Does she have other recordings, as DeWit accused her of in his resignation letter? Does she have any idea who the powerful people “back east” are? And why did she wait 11 months to release this audio? Kari Lake joins Glenn to address all these questions and more.
Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: Welcome to the program, Kari Lake. How are you?
KARI: Hello, I'm doing great.
GLENN: Are you?
KARI: Yes, it has been a pretty good week.
GLENN: Oh, I bet it has been. And arrows are coming your way, everywhere. So, first of all --
KARI: You know what, actually no. I think -- I think a lot of love is coming my way from the people. Arrows have been coming my way for a long time.
The people are just exactly fed up, and they're -- they know this stuff is going on. And I think it just verified that they're not wrong.
This is not the kind of world they're living in. The corrupt world they're living in, in Washington, DC, and in politics.
So -- so let's start kind of at the beginning.
This guy was a friend and a coworker. He claims that we were friends. We were just having conversations.
Do you record all of your conversations, or is there a reason why you had this conversation taped. Did he do it before.
Yeah. Go ahead.
KARI: So why would I record this?
Well, it was about two or three in the afternoon.
And I got a call. From Jeff DeWit. Who was a chairman of the Republican Party. And he said, hey. What are you doing? I have to come and talk to you. I said, I'm a little busy right now.
I'm actually packing for CPAC. I think you might have been at that CPAC, and finishing up my book.
I don't have a lot of time. And you said, well, I'm right in your neighborhood. I will be there in five minutes.
What I have to talk to you about, I have to do in person.
KARI: And I said, Jeff, at this point, a lot of people knew -- there was speculation I was going to run for Senate. And I said, if you're trying to talk me out of running for Senate.
And I knew he had some friends who didn't want me to run for Senate. You know, I'm not going to entertain that. And he said, no, no, no, no. Just, I have to come over.
But I can't do it on the phone.
What I have to talk to you about, and I just got a bad feeling about it. I thought, is there going to be a threat?
Why does he have to come to my door and talk to me?
GLENN: I know I would record that conversation as well.
KARI: That's why I recorded it. I just thought, if he's going to threaten me, I need to have this on recording. I never even listened to it back, until this week.
I just said, okay. Go ahead.
GLENN: Okay. So wait a minute.
Had he -- because his resignation letter was bizarre. If I wasn't doing things -- I mean, I've had all kinds of conversations with Stu. But this is what I do, this is what I believe in, and if Stu said, I've got some tape. And, you know, I'm going to expose it. I would be like, I would come on and say, go ahead. Expose it.
We had many conversations, some of them were difficult conversations.
But none of them were unethical or illegal or anything like that. Why would he resign and say, I'm resigning because of her threat, that she's got more tapes.
Do you have more tapes, and did he do other things like this?
KARI: No. I don't -- I don't have more tapes, and that is what is so disturbing about. That he thinks, his behavior is so unethical. That he thinks there's worse stuff out there.
So you never said that you had more tapes to release? You never gave that threat to him?
KARI: I haven't talked to him, returned any calls. Even texted him in a long time. And this is a bunch of BS. He's saying that I blackmailed him.
I didn't even tell him I'm putting it out. Usually, if there's a blackmail situation, you say, this is going out, if you do that. He didn't even know. Until the media contacted him for comment, you know, he didn't know it was going out. But the fact that he behaves in a way, that he thinks -- I think the response he said, was there's more damaging video out there. Damaging stuff out there. And I'm like, what could be more damaging than a bribery? I mean, what's the heck is going on with this guy?
GLENN: Yeah. So I said when this tape came out. I was really angry, and I said, not other guy should go to the G.O.P. This guy should resign.
If this is illegal, this should be arrested. Anybody involved. If it isn't illegal, it should be illegal.
And I said, it's not just about this guy in Arizona. The most important thing to me, was that a call came from back east.
And the way he said it, it was very knowing.
Do you -- and you don't have to give any names, because if you do, you're going to -- you can get in trouble for slander or whatever.
You know, unless you have something to back it up. Do you have a pretty good idea of who he meant by back east.
KARI: Sure. I don't know.
I mean, I've thought about it long and hard. I've got some guesses that I could make, but I'm not going to do that.
The sad thing though, Glenn, is you can sit there for hours and think about it, and come up with a list of 300, 400, maybe 500 people or groups or organizations, that it could be.
And it says a lot about the state of our government, the state of our political situation.
KARI: You know, it could be so many different people, it shows you how corrupt Washington, DC, is.
GLENN: Okay. So is anybody -- has anybody reached out to you, from back east, to say, hey, we got to get to the bottom of this? Anybody from the G.O.P.? Nobody?
KARI: No. Nobody from the G.O.P.
I've had some great people reach out to me. Senators who I think are fantastic. Who said, oh, my gosh. You know, we can't wait to get you in the Senate. We need somebody who isn't bought and paid for and influenced.
And you would think, Glenn. And I appreciate you having me on. We've had some great interviews already on this.
But the mainstream media. By the way, I went public of this, within 24 hours. I went public. I flew out of town. Went to CPAC. Changed my entire speech.
And I just talked about this. I said, I got bribed by a pretty big political person to stay out of politics. You know, basically, offering me, how much would it take to make you stay out?
And I brought -- my whole speech I kind of wrapped around this. And the mainstream media didn't reach out and say, who bribed you? What?
GLENN: Can I tell you something, Kari.
I mean, I've had those things before. I've had things like this happen to me before, and I've referenced them.
But I didn't have a tape.
Why did you not -- because I would have had you on the next day, had I thought that you had proof of it. And maybe -- it was just me for dropping the ball here.
Why did you wait for the tape to be released, or to say, I have a tape of it?
KARI: Well, I didn't want to release anything. And I also didn't listen to anything.
I taped it, because I was afraid there was going to be a physical threat. And when there wasn't. I just kind of put that file away, when never even dealt with it. But I felt like going public with it, the next day, or the next hour, when I went on the CPAC stage. And since then -- again, this was 11 months ago.
GLENN: Oh, I know.
I was there. I heard you, and it didn't occur to me, to ask you if you have evidence of it, and I'm sorry. I should have.
KARI: No. That's okay.
KARI: But I didn't listen to it, until this week. I mean, went, oh, my gosh. I have a recording of that. And I was eating dinner with my husband. My daughter was eating dinner with us.
And I happened to -- I tracked it down, and found it. Hit play while we were eating dinner. And literally, as vivid as I recalled it, I think when I did my speech at CPAC, I described it pretty well. Our jaws dropped to the floor. We were shocked. I went, oh, my gosh. This is so much worse, than I even remembered it being.
And my daughter was shocked. She said, tell me that guy does not work in politics anymore.
I said, he heads up the Arizona G.O.P.
And she said, what are you going to do about it, mom. And I thought. I didn't really want to put that out. But how disappointing, when your kids hear something like that. And you just sit on it.
GLENN: Well, I will tell you, you won a primary, did you not?
KARI: In the -- in the governor's race, yes.
GLENN: Yeah. No, not -- primary happens when, in Arizona?
KARI: In August.
GLENN: Oh, jeez.
KARI: I'm up 40 points against the competitor.
GLENN: How many points?
KARI: Depending on the poll, 30 or 40 points, so not really --
GLENN: So here's the amazing thing, that somebody back east. Powerful people, really want you to go away. They don't want you in the Senate.
I know that there's a big Senate fund. And I'm not making any accusations. But I know there's a big Senate fund, that is -- that the G.O.P. has, that is controlled by one individual.
Who does have a -- a pattern of supporting people that are not MAGA, at any cost. Even if it means we lose a Senate race.
And they're not going to get behind you. First of all, if you're leading by 30 or 40 points, then you're the obvious candidate, let the people of Arizona decide.
But you should be getting support from the G.O.P.
And if somebody is -- is trashing our system. And they are offering bribes so people go away.
That all has to be exposed.
I can't call out corruption on the other side. If I don't call it out on our side.
KARI: Oh, 100 percent.
I don't want corruption anywhere. I don't want it on the left. I don't want it on the right.
GLENN: No. I don't either.
KARI: And right now, Glenn. It seems we have a lot of corruption on the Republican Party.
And I think a lot of it is resistance to Trump.
They don't want Trump running.
And I don't know if it is because he will reveal a lot of the corruption.
Frankly, I want people going to Washington, DC.
Who Washington, DC, doesn't want.
GLENN: Oh, me too. Go ahead.
KARI: The media now is covering this. And they're trying -- oh, he was just offering her a jobs. You talk about -- you have conversations with your friends. You run a business. Have you ever had a conversation like -- this is not normal.
KARI: Anyone who runs a business, if this is the kind of normal conversations, you're having, you're probably in the Mafia.
GLENN: Well, quite honestly, I mean, it makes -- it says a lot about people who leave Congress, and before they run for another higher office, they go to work for these companies.
And seem to bide their time.
There have been accusations by the guy who did it, that you edited the tape.
Is there any truth to that?
KARI: I put 11 -- ten or 11 minutes that involved the bribe.
And I don't know how you could say that was -- I forget the word he used.
GLENN: Out of context.
KARI: Yeah. Some sort.
How do you take ten minutes of bribery out of context?
GLENN: Stu and I were talking about this yesterday. And I said, the only way it can be taken out of context, is if the sentence before was, everything I'm about to say, I'm totally making up, Kari.
That's the only way to take it out of context.
KARI: Or, I've got to describe a scene from a movie, I mean, watched.
GLENN: Yes. Yes. But that -- but the tape you gave us, is --
KARI: He said it was creative editing. Yes. The tape I gave you, is an honest tape. I pulled ten or 11 minutes. I forget. I think it's a little over ten. Of him trying to bribe me.
GLENN: But you did not splice around or edit anything out of those 11 minutes.
KARI: Nope. It's all of the bribery part. And I didn't say, hey, welcome -- can I I get you a cup of coffee, all of that.
But this is not taken out of context. This is not creative editing. Creative editing would be a 30-second clip. This is -- this is a conversation about him bribing me.
There's no ifs, ands, and buts. And he's afraid there's worse stuff out there. It tells you a lot about him.