Kari Lake endorsed an antisemitic Oklahoma Republican who says ‘the Jews’ are evil

The GOP gubernatorial nominee, who declared last month that she ‘denounces bigotry, especially anti-semitism,’ didn’t answer questions

By: - August 19, 2022 2:53 pm

Kari Lake endorsed an antisemitic GOP candidate in Oklahoma who has said "the Jews" are proof there is evil in the world. Photo by Gage Skidmore (modified) | Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Less than a month ago, Kari Lake rejected an endorsement from a prominent antisemite, saying that she “absolutely denounces bigotry in all its forms, especially anti-semitism.”

This week, the Republican nominee for Arizona’s governor gave her full-throated endorsement to an Oklahoma legislative candidate who has said “the Jews” are evidence that “evil exists.” Lake said he is a “fighter” and a “patriot” who is attacked by “the Soros media” — an antisemitc reference to wealthy businessman and philanthropist George Soros, who is Jewish — because he is “over the target.”

Late Friday afternoon, a Phoenix Jewish group called on Lake to rescind her endorsement of Jackson, calling it “appalling.”

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Jarrin Jackson, a far-right streamer who won a GOP primary for the Oklahoma State Senate in June, has repeatedly posted antisemitic things on his Telegram page.

In February, after watching a right-wing documentary about enemies of Christianity, he criticized the film for not explicitly naming what is evil in the world.

“Outline & detail the evil…” Jackson wrote. “The Jews, Illuminati, Covid shots kill. Rothschilds. Communists. Woke pastors. Social gospel. Christ will chuck a bunch of stuff in the fire.”

Media Matters for America, a liberal watchdog, found that Jackson frequently references the Rothschilds on his Telegram page. References to the wealthy Jewish family are a frequent antisemitic trope, and “has become a generic term for greedy and manipulative Jewish billionaires,” according to the American Jewish Committee

In one instance, Jackson said he “would’ve rolled my eyes at people invoking ‘Rothschilds’ or ‘MK Ultra’ or other conspiracy theories” until Trump lost the 2020 election. In another, he spread a conspiracy theory that one of the Rothschilds “applied for & was granted the patent for COVID-19 testing. In 2015.” The first application for a COVID-19 testing patent wasn’t made until May 2020.

Project MKUltra was the code name of a quasi-legal human experimentation program designed and undertaken by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Most prominently, it researched mind-control through the use of psychedelic drugs and other measures.

Jackson has also endorsed a white nationalist and neo-Nazi conspiracy theory that is a variation on the so-called “great replacement” theory. The theory, also known as the Kalergi Plan, posits that global elites — especially Jewish people — are trying to rid the world of white people through immigration and interracial breeding. 

The idea has led to deadly violence: In 2018, an antisemite who believed a Jewish humanitarian group that aided refugees and immigrants was trying to wipe out white people massacred 11 worshippers in a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Per Media Matters:

Roughly 18 minutes into the 26 and-a-half minute video, Jackson played a clip of a narrator claiming that “an unholy alliance of leftists, capitalists and Zionist supremacists has schemed to promote immigration and miscegenation with the deliberate aim of breeding us out of existence in our own homelands.” In the clip, repeated images of the Star of David and the phrase “diversity is white genocide” were displayed.

Jackson responded to the clip by stating that he thinks the Kalergi Plan is “real.”

Jackson went on to say that he believes the “great replacement” theory, and said people who support American immigration are trying to wipe out white Christians.

“It’s not nativism. It’s common sense. But the real issue at the core here is that — I can’t believe no one else sees this. They want to get rid of white people because of their Christianity,” he said. 

In late July, less than a week before the Aug. 2 primary election, a Lake campaign spokesman told the Arizona Mirror that the former TV newscaster rejected the endorsement of Andrew Torba, the founder of the far-right social media platform Gab and an avowed antisemite. 

“It goes without saying, the Kari Lake Campaign for Governor absolutely denounces bigotry in all its forms, especially anti-semitism. We have never sought this endorsement,” spokesman Ross Trumble said in an emailed statement at the time.

Trumble did not respond to multiple requests for comment on Friday about Lake’s decision to endorse Jackson. 

Jackson posted a statement from Lake on Twitter on Aug. 17 when he announced her endorsement: “We need fighters in EVERY state (and) that’s why I’m proud to endorse Jarrin Jackson for Oklahoma state senate! Jarrin is an America First patriot and does so much to advance our America First movement. RINOs & the Soros media attack him relentlessly because he’s over the target. Jarrin is a winner and a fighter we need in the state senate!”

Jackson has also been endorsed by Arizona Republicans Mark Finchem, who is the GOP nominee for secretary of state, and state Sen. Wendy Rogers. Both Finchem and Rogers touted the endorsement of Torba, who has said that Jewish people shouldn’t be welcomed by conservatives.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Phoenix issued a statement to the Mirror late Friday afternoon calling on Lake and Finchem to pull their endorsements and denounce Jackson.

“Kari Lake’s and Mark Finchem’s endorsements of the antisemitic Oklahoma State Senate Candidate Jarrin Jackson is appalling. We are judged by our relations, and the company we keep,” the organization said. “There is no room for support for antisemitic bigots from those who want to lead Arizona.”

But the group didn’t make the same demand of Rogers, who has openly embraced white nationalists and made antisemitic comments on social media multiple times.

“We are not going to bother asking Rogers to rescind her endorsement or issue a denunciation because her antisemitism is well-documented–we know who she is, and what she stands for,” the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Phoenix said.

Lake won the Aug. 2 primary election, defeating wealthy developer Karrin Taylor Robson to earn the Republican nomination for governor. She faces Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, the Democratic nominee, in November.

A poll released this week that was commissioned by Fox News found Hobbs leading Lake by three percentage points.

UPDATE: This story has been updated to include comments from the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Phoenix.

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Jim Small
Jim Small

Jim Small is a native Arizonan and has covered state government, policy and politics since 2004, with a focus on investigative and in-depth policy reporting, first as a reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times, then as editor of the paper and its prestigious sister publications, the Yellow Sheet Report and Arizona Legislative Report. Under his guidance, the Capitol Times won numerous state, regional and national awards for its accountability journalism and probing investigations into state government operations.

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