Christina Pushaw, Florida Gov.’s press secretary. Ron DeSantis (R), suggested on Sunday — contrary to all evidence — that the white supremacist rallies held in Orlando over the weekend were staged.
Saturday neo-Nazis gathered on a street in a suburb of Orlando and on an interstate overpassHolding up anti-Semitic signs, displaying Nazi symbolism, and shouting at passing cars.
Pushaw questioned authenticity of these demonstrations and claimed baselessly that the neo Nazis could be Democrats trying make her boss and other Republicans look bad.
“Do we even know they’re Nazis? Or is this a stunt like the ‘white nationalists’ who crashed [then-GOP candidate for governor Glenn Youngkin’s]Charlottesville rally [Virginia] and turned out to be Dem staffers?” Pushaw said in a now-deleted tweet.
The press secretary’s comments referred to a staged event last fall that was not authorized or coordinated by Democrats at all. What actually happened at Youngkin’s campaign rally was that members of the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump Republican organization that also opposed Youngkin’s candidacy for Virginia governor, appeared holding tiki torches, just as white nationalists and neo-Nazis had done in the 2017 “Unite the Right” rallyHeather Heyer, an antiracist demonstrator, was shot to death.
The Lincoln Project stated that their satirical act was what they did on the day of the event. The demonstration “was our way of reminding Virginians what happened in Charlottesville four years ago, the Republican Party’s embrace of those values, and Glenn Youngkin’s failure to condemn it,” the organization said in a statement.
However, the events that took place in Florida this weekend were true white supremacist demonstrations.
Pushaw deleted her tweet following criticisms. But she did defend her original tweet later on, doubling down upon the Youngkin connection and incorrectly claiming that Democrats were behind this action rather than The Lincoln Project.
Pushaw continued to promote and like tweets in her defense. Florida Politics reported.
Rep. Evan Jenne, Florida House Democratic Leader, stated that Pushaw knew there was no connection between the neo Nazi demonstrators and Democrats.
“Her immediate deletion of that tweet shows she was just talking trash,” Jenne said. “No more or less.”