Arizona GOP Senate candidate promotes endorsement from fake news website: report

Arizona GOP Senate candidate promotes endorsement from fake news website: report

Republican Arizona Senate candidate Kelli Ward promoted an endorsement from a fake news website, Politico reported.

Ward at the end of October referenced an Arizona Monitor column on her campaign website and Facebook page that declared she was "your woman" and criticized her Republican competitors, according to the news outlet.

“They all, despite how much some of them profess their love and devotion to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump knocks BuzzFeed over Cohen report, points to Russia dossier DNC says it was targeted by Russian hackers after fall midterms BuzzFeed stands by Cohen report: Mueller should 'make clear what he's disputing' MORE, didn’t have the stones to run against Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeSchumer recruiting top-notch candidate for McCain Senate seat The Hill's Morning Report — Trump eyes wall money options as shutdown hits 21 days Poll: Sanders most popular senator, Flake least MORE and will have made the ‘brave’ decision to run for Senate only after Flake decided he wasn’t going to run," the column said, referring to Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who announced his retirement last year.

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"Kelli Ward is your woman.”

Politico reported that the Arizona Monitor is an anonymous blog, not a real news site.

The site has frequently been critical of Ward's primary opponents and has ripped Flake. It says on the top of its page that it seeks to strike "Fear into the Heart of the Establishment."

Its Facebook page says it is a news site and owner of the website is unknown, Politico reported. It was launched shortly before it published its endorsement of Ward.

A spokesman for Ward's campaign said he doesn't know who runs the website, adding that the campaign had no connection to it.

He added that he doesn't think sharing an article that is "favorable to you, especially when there are no inaccuracies or factual issues in it, associates us with the writer or the paper."

"Because we share stuff all the time, from the Arizona Republic all the way down the list," Zachery Henry said.

Ward also said in a Facebook thread over the weekend that she had "no idea who runs" the website and has "no connection to it."

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, told Politico that "fake news" sites often use names also used by traditional news websites.

“This basically is an appropriation of credibility,” Jamieson said. “As the credibility of reputable news outlets is appropriated for partisan purposes, we are going to undermine the capacity of legitimate outlets to signal their trustworthiness.”

Ward is running to replace Flake. Flake, who is among Trump's most vocal critics, opted to retire from Congress rather than face a primary that was certain to put him against the president's energized base of supporters.