'Combative' Press Secretary for Ron DeSantis registers as foreign agent after DOJ inquiry: report
Christina Pushaw, the spokesperson and press secretary to Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, has registered as a foreign agent of a former president of the country of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, after a U.S. Dept. of Justice inquiry into her activities.
Pushaw’s attorney, Michael Sherwin, The Washington Post reports, says she was paid $25,000 for her work from 2018 to 2020. DeSantis was elected in 2018. According to a LinkedIn profile with Pushaw’s name, Pushaw began working for the Florida governor in 2021.
Sherwin told the Post that “Ms. Pushaw was notified recently by the DOJ that her work on behalf of Mr. Saakashvilli likely required FARA registration. Ms. Pushaw filed for the registration retroactively as soon as she was made aware.”
That LinkedIn profile also says Pushaw is the “Founder of an NGO [non-governmental organization] in Georgia (Eastern Europe) educating and empowering the next generation of young leaders,” and that she has a “Master’s in International Relations & Economics from Johns Hopkins University.”
For almost three years, from January 2018 to November 2020, the profile also says, she was a “Campaign Strategist” for a “Georgian opposition party.”
But in April Slate reported that “Pushaw said in a November 2018 interview with the English-language news site Georgia Today that she was in the country working with NGOs—and said expressly that she was not being paid to speak on Saakashvili’s behalf.”
“She was, in her own words, ‘not working for anyone who’s running for office in Georgia or who is holding office in Georgia or any foreign country.’ This would seem to contradict her LinkedIn page.”
Slate also called Pushaw “an aggressive Twitter user. On an indicative day this month, she posted on the site 83 times—a mix of original comments, retweets of conservative media figures and outlets, and replies to other right-wing users. Unfortunately for the historical record, she appears to have deleted all her tweets from the time before she was hired in Florida, which was in May 2021.”
The Editorial Board of the Florida Sun-Sentinel called Pushaw a “combative, divisive and highly partisan political operative,” in a piece titled, “The tweeting, deleting operative who does DeSantis’ distorting.”
The Washington Post also points to Pushaw’s activities on Twitter:
“Pushaw, a year into her tenure as DeSantis’s press secretary, has become a prominent protector of her boss and a fierce critic of the media. Twitter briefly locked her account last year after the Associated Press said the criticism she directed at a reporter caused him to receive death threats.”
Pushaw did not address the Washinton Post piece about her status as a foreign agent of a Georgian politician directly, but in her unique fashion, tweeted this:
\u201cBREAKING: Fort Lauderdale is getting a new Georgian restaurant! If you haven\u2019t tried Georgian food\u2026 highly recommend\u201d— Christina Pushaw \ud83d\udc0a \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8 (@Christina Pushaw \ud83d\udc0a \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8) 1654690064