The former President of the United States, in the middle of a rant on his personal social media site, appeared to admit to using federal resources to interfere with the 2018 election in Florida. In a long rant about a possible face-off in 2024, Trump said he sent the FBI to the state to “stop [DeSantis’] election from being stolen.”
Former Guy is in an absolute tizzy over the possibility that DeSantis will run against him in the 2024 Presidential Election, and he can’t stop talking about it.
On Thursday, as the dust settled from midterm elections and speculation rose about the next round, Trump was on an endless tear on his social media channels, demanding acknowledgment that he was more popular in Florida than DeSantis (using bad math) and complaining that DeSantis should promise not to run against him in 2024.
In a five-post-long rant, he took credit for the Florida Governor’s 2018 narrow win (Democratic challenger Andrew Gillum trailed by about 1 percentage point and fewer than 80,000 votes when he conceded), but he described his own actions as a little bit more than rallies and an endorsement.
He claimed, in fact, that there were ballots being stolen in the 2018 election, and that he sent in the FBI and U.S. Attorneys to stop it, managing to bring the alleged thievery to a halt just in time. The question is, what does this mean in the real world, outside Trump’s fevered imaginings?
Trump’s rant included this eyebrow raising diatribe:
[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…
In 2018, Republicans did claim election fraud in Florida, with Trump alleging that Scott and DeSantis won on election night, and that the continued counting of early and mail-in votes was an act of theft. In fact, there was an emergency hearing, in which a court ruled that there was no evidence of fraud.
Trump has repeatedly referred to election officials suspiciously “finding” votes for Democrats. But there is no evidence to date that vote counts have been influenced by anything other than legally cast ballots. Indeed, most of the changing vote totals have been due to officials tallying mail-in, provisional and absentee ballots not counted on Election Day.
The problem with Trump’s claim is that, since there was no fraud found, there were no actions taken to “stop” or “correct” that nonexistent fraud — so, what is he claiming to have done? It’s impossible to translate Trump-speak and determine whether he’s merely taking credit because there was a hearing and the Republican candidates won, or if he’s actually admitting to having sent federal agents to alter the election outcome — but taken at face value, it doesn’t look good.
Trump’s full rant follows.
Post 1: He begins with frustration that various media sources are singing DeSantis’ praises and describing him as the future of the Republican Party.Post 2: He says that DeSantis came to him in 2017 begging for help. Post 3: Trump begins claiming credit for DeSantis’ victory in more mundane ways, via endorsement and rallies. Post 4: Trump appears to confess to using government resources to interfere with the Florida election in 2018. Post 5: Trump is angry that DeSantis — or “DeSanctimonious” — refused to say whether he plans to run for President. He hints that the Florida Governor should have promised not to run, if Trump does. Post 6: Trump concludes by boasting that Republicans who opposed him eventually “fall in line,” and assuring that this will happen again.
Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.