New report refutes Greg Abbott’s claim that his office was unaware of DeSantis’ migrant stunt

New report refutes Greg Abbott’s claim that his office was unaware of DeSantis’ migrant stunt
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaking at the 2016 WTTC Global Summit, Wikimedia Commons

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's (R) office was aware of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' migrant stunt despite previous claims that it had no involvement in helping him, KSAT-12 reports.

Text message conversations released by Abbott's office as part of a public information request from the Florida Center for Government Accountability refutes the the State of Texas’ previous denial that it had "any involvement with that flight."

In an email to KSAT, the accountability group said, “Those records indicated that [DeSantis chief of staff] Mr. (James) Uthmeier was introducing [former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Florida] Mr. (Larry) Keefe to Luis Saenz (Gov. Abbott’s Chief of Staff) as the point of contact for Gov. DeSantis.”

READ MORE: Greg Abbott hasn’t attended one single funeral of an Uvalde victim: report

Per HuffPost: "A spokeswoman for Abbott initially told the San Antonio Express-News that his office had spoken with DeSantis’ office in the spring about the Texas governor’s own efforts at busing immigrants out of state, but was 'not involved in these initial planes to Martha’s Vineyard.'”

However, the messages sent between DeSantis' officials include references to Saenz, the chief of staff of Abbott's administration.

The text messages, which were sent between Sept. 1-13, also appear to show Uthmeier providing Saenz's contact information to Keefe. In another message, Uthmeier also referred to Keefe as a person of contact for his "team."

“Following up, pls let Larry [Keefe] or me know a good POC," Uthmeier reportedly messaged Saenz. "Happy to touch base again if needed.”

READ MORE: Gov. Greg Abbott appoints officer indicted for misconduct during George Floyd protests to police regulatory agency

The exchange between DeSantis' chief of staff, Uthmeier and Keefe — who has been deemed Florida's "public safety czar" — reads as though Keefe told Uthmeier that the state of Texas "is aware of Dash, FYI. No worries here.”

According to the San Antonio Express-News, "The 'Dash' message from Keefe, who was reportedly in San Antonio about two weeks prior to the flights, refers to 'the code name of the operation to fly migrants out of Texas.'”

READ MORE: 'Tricky business': Greg Abbott used pandemic relief funds to ship migrants out of Texas

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