FBI pushes back on Trump’s claims he ‘sent’ feds to help DeSantis stop election fraud in 2018
The FBI has officially denied a claim made by former President Donald Trump last year about supposedly utilising the law enforcement agency to aid Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the weeks after his election victory in 2018.
The bureau’s response came as a result of a FOIA request from NBC News, which asked for any information about the supposed scheme to use US attorneys and FBI agents to halt “theft” of ballots that was supposedly taking place in Florida’s Broward County.
“[A]fter the Race, when votes were being stolen by the corrupt Election process in Broward County, and Ron was going down ten thousand votes a day, along with now-Senator Rick Scott, I sent in the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys, and the ballot theft immediately ended, just prior to them running out of the votes necessary to win. I stopped his Election from being stolen,” Mr Trump wrote in November on his Truth Social platform.
According to the FBI, there’s no record of any such action being ordered by the president at that time. Broward County’s highest elections authority previously told a local newspaper that it could find “no documentation of any federal law enforcement presence during the 2018 elections,” and a former spokesperson for the Department of Justice under Mr Trump wrote in November that the supposed action “never happened” as well.
It’s one of many outright lies about his presidency that the former president has spun in the years since he left the White House; he continues to insist, despite all evidence to the contrary, that the 2020 election was stolen, and was telling supporters throughout 2021 (and possibly in to 2022) that he expected to be “reinstated” as president by some unknown authority.
He continued his efforts to lessen trust in America’s elections systems throughout 2022, and falsely claimed once again that states including Michigan were engaged in voter fraud and suppression.
Mr Trump’s new focus on Florida’s governor is widely thought to be a response to media coverage insinuating that Mr DeSantis is the only Republican candidate (currently) with a mathematical chance of challenging him for the party’s 2024 nomination, though the governor has yet to announce a formal bid. Already the former president has tested out several nicknames for his presumed rival while trashing the governor’s record in Florida and accusing Mr DeSantis of copying him at his most recent rally in Iowa.