Fact checkers rebuff Trump’s claim of stopping a 2018 'steal' for Ron DeSantis
A new report is pushing back against former President Donald Trump's latest claim about the 2018 Florida gubernatorial election. During his recent social media rant targeting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), Trump took credit for "helping" the Republican governor.
The former president shared details about the assistance he allegedly offered as he claimed to have sent the U.S. attorneys and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to act on DeSantis' behalf.
According to Politifact's Yacob Reyes and Amy Sherman, "Trump said DeSantis came to him in 'desperate shape' and 'politically dead' in 2017. Trump said he rescued DeSantis by endorsing him in the Republican primary in which he beat Adam Putnam, the state's two-time agriculture commissioner. Months later, Trump said he delivered victory to DeSantis in his race against Andrew Gillum, the Democratic candidate."
In a post shared to Truth Social on November 10, Trump wrote:
"I was all in for Ron, and he beat Gillum, but after 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."
However, Reyes and Sherman's research discredits Trump's claims. While it is true that the vote recount did confirm DeSantis narrowly beat his Democratic opponent Andrew Gillum, the writers fact-checked one glaring aspect of Trump's claims: votes were not "being stolen."
"Could Trump have called someone at the Justice Department in November 2018 about the election in Broward?" Reyes and Sherman wrote. "It's possible; we have no way to fact-check that part of his statement. But we can debunk Trump's assertion that votes were being 'stolen' in Broward and that he stopped the steal."
Speaking to Politifact, Broward County Commissioner Steve Geller also refuted the former president's claim. "Unless the federal agents were undercover and didn't identify themselves, there was nobody there saying, ‘Yes we are from the FBI or CIA or federal bureau of stopping the steal,’" Geller said.
"There was no ‘steal’ for him to have stopped," Geller said, in reference to Trump.