US Republican Kari Lake tells supporters: 'Strap on a Glock' as election nears

FILE PHOTO: Arizona Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kari Lake
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kari Lake, an ardent supporter of former president Donald Trump, urged supporters in Arizona to "strap on a Glock" pistol as they prepare for what she called an intense six months leading up to the Nov. 5 elections.

"We are going to put on the armor of God. Then maybe strap on a Glock," Lake told a cheering audience at an Arizona rally on Sunday.

"You can put one (Glock) here," she said, touching her right hip. "And one in the back, or one in the front, whatever you guys decide."

Her campaign did not respond to queries seeking comment.

Lake, 54, is seeking the Republican nomination in the race to replace retiring U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat-turned-independent. The Arizona contest will play a key role in determining whether Democrats hold their narrow 51-49 Senate majority. A former local news anchor, Lake made an unsuccessful bid for Arizona governor two years ago.

Arizona, a swing state which narrowly went for Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, could also play a crucial role in this year's presidential election.

Lake's comments came the day before Trump went on trial in New York on criminal charges stemming from alleged hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels. Trump has pleaded not guilty.

Trump has at times used violent imagery in his campaign events, particularly when lambasting immigrants and his opponents.

Lake warned supporters that Trump was facing "lawfare," which refers to an alleged strategic use of legal proceedings intended to intimidate and hinder a candidate.

"The next six months are going to be difficult," she said, adding that Trump is "willing to continue to fight for us."

"This is the moment we have to save our country. He's willing to sacrifice everything. I am, that's why they're coming after us," Lake said.

Trump faces multiple criminal cases, including charges involving his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss to Biden on false claims of widespread election fraud.

Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in a bid to stop the certification of Biden's election, after he told them in a fiery speech nearby to "fight like hell."

(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Scott Malone and Leslie Adler)