Watch: DeSantis explodes when asked about alleged role in Gitmo force feeding at Jerusalem press conference

Watch: DeSantis explodes when asked about alleged role in Gitmo force feeding at Jerusalem press conference
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - APRIL 27: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to the press during a press conference at the Museum of Tolerance on April 27, 2023 in Jerusalem, Israel. Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida and an anticipated US presidential candidate, has been visiting several countries as part of a trade delegation. (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)

Last summer, Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantisreleased a campaign ad, painting him as the Tom Cruise character in the popular “Top Gun: Maverick” blockbuster film. Called “Top Gov,” it showed DeSantis in the iconic Aviator sunglasses, wearing a bomber jacket before zipping on a flight suit, walking onto the tarmac, donning a flight helmet, and piloting a fighter jet.

It was a clear attempt to build off the popularity of the film, and to highlight DeSantis’ military bonafides, even if the Florida Republican was not a Navy fighter pilot.

Ron DeSantis did serve in the Navy, but his character was more akin to another Tom Cruise film, “A Few Good Men,” a story about Navy JAG officers.

DeSantis is a Yale graduate who went on to teach history at a Georgia private college prep school (his time there too is seen as controversial) before getting his law degree at Harvard.

He served in the Navy from 2004-2019, not as a fighter pilot but as a JAG (Judge Advocate General) officer “at the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,” according to his official biography. He essentially was a lawyer whose job it was to protect the rights of those detained at Gitmo.

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But there have been allegations made that he supported the force-feeding of Gitmo prisoners, which the United Nations Human Rights Commission says amounts to a form of torture.

“Hundreds of ‘enemy combatants,’ held without charges, had gone on hunger strikes. As pressure grew to end the protests, DeSantis later said, he was part of a team of military lawyers asked what could be done,” The Washington Post, revisiting the issue, reported last month.

“’Hey, you actually can force-feed,’ DeSantis said he responded in his role as a legal adviser. ‘Here’s what you can do. Here’s kind of the rules for that.’”

“Ultimately,” The Post reported, “it was the Pentagon’s decision to authorize force-feeding. Detainees were strapped into a chair and a lubricated tube was stuffed down their nose so a nurse could pour down two cans of a protein drink, according to military records. The detainees’ lawyers tried and failed to stop the painful practice, arguing that it violated international torture conventions.”

DeSantis has denied the allegations, including in an interview last month with Piers Morgan.

READ MORE: Everything Ron DeSantis Did Yesterday Is Wrong – And Many People Are Noticing

CBS News (video below) compared that interview with remarks DeSantis made in 2018, which The Post quoted. In 2018 DeSantis said, “everything at that time was legal in nature one way or another.”

But he was once again asked about it this week, during what his office is describing as an “international trade mission” to Japan, South Korea, Israel and the United Kingdom.

It was in Israel where he got the Gitmo question, and for the second time this week DeSantis’ response to a reporter’s simple question while he traveled overseas has gone viral.

On Monday in Japan, a reporter had asked him about his poor presidential-candidate polling numbers, which continue to sink.

“I’m not a candidate, so we’ll see if and when that changes,” was DeSantis’ snarky response, which wasn’t helped by what many noticed as his curiously bobbing head movements.

That video has now been viewed 7.7 million times on Twitter.

That was Monday.

On Thursday, DeSantis exploded on a reporter when asked about the Guantanamo Bay allegations related to the force-feeding prisoners.

“No no, no, all that’s BS,” DeSantis replied (video below) before the reporter could even finish his question.

“Totally BS,” he added as he tried to move on to another reporter.

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Asked again about force-feedings, Desantis snarled in response, “Who said that?”

“How would they know me? OK thank about that. Do you honestly believe that’s credible? So this is 2006, I’m a junior officer. Do you honestly think that they would’ve remembered me from Adam? Of course not,” he responded angrily, during the press conference in Jerusalem at the Museum of Tolerance.

“They’re just trying to get into the news because they know people like you will consume it because it fits your pre-ordained narrative.”

Insider reports that “Mansoor Adayfi, a Yemeni citizen, was held at Guantanamo Bay for 14 years, and has told news outlets that DeSantis witnessed him being force fed during a hunger strike in 2006.”

“As I tried to break free, I noticed DeSantis’s handsome face among the crowd at the other side of the chain link. He was watching me struggle. He was smiling and laughing with other officers as I screamed in pain,” Adayfi in an op-ed for Al Jazeera.

Watch the videos above or at this link.

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