Fact Check: Ron DeSantis Did Not Defend FBI Search at Mar-a-Lago

A viral video purports to show Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show defending the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s recent search of Donald Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago. 

The video is two separate videos spliced together: The first is from a segment Hannity did on the Mar-a-Lago search on the August 9 episode of his show. In the segment, Hannity, former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, and Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, discussed the FBI’s actions. In the altered clip, Fleischer was replaced by video of DeSantis, while Hannity and Trump’s comments were presented out of order to make it seem as though the three were arguing.

The video of DeSantis is pulled from a press conference on December 11, 2020. At the conference, DeSantis was asked by a reporter for WPTV about the December 8, 2020, search of former Florida Department of Health employee Rebekah Jones’ home by Florida law enforcement agents. Jones alleged that she had been fired to cover up the fact that COVID-19 data was being manipulated to make the Florida government’s response appear more favorable. An investigation by the Florida Department of Health’s inspector general found nothing to substantiate her claims. Florida law enforcement officials searched her home while investigating an unauthorized message sent out on a state government communications system.

DeSantis defended the actions of law enforcement officers who searched Jones’ home but did not defend the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago. DeSantis criticized the FBI in a speech Sunday.

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