During the recent Republican primary debate, Gov. Ron DeSantis claimed he sent planes to Israel to bring back stranded Americans, prompting NBC News to fact-check the statement as “half true.”
The network’s assessment was met with heavy criticism, with DeSantis’ press secretary asserting that the governor’s claim was “100% true.”
“[President] Biden’s neglect has been atrocious, we had Floridians that were over there after the attack. He left them stranded; they couldn’t get flights out. So, I scrambled resources in Florida. I sent planes over to Israel and I brought back over 700 people to safety,” DeSantis said. (Trending: Supreme Court Dismisses Case To Keep Trump Off Ballot)
It’s 100% true. There’s no half truth, here.
He sent planes to Israel, and he brought back over 700 people.
I was literally there watching as @GovRonDeSantis and First Lady @CaseyDeSantis greeted passengers as they arrived in Florida.
— Jeremy Redfern (@JeremyRedfernFL) November 9, 2023
“The Biden administration initially told Americans in Israel to take advantage of commercial flights on Oct. 9, but flights from Israel to the U.S. were scarce and prices were reportedly as high as $25,000. Some Americans in Israel at the time posted on social media that they were stranded,” NBC News’ Peter W. Klein wrote.
“On Oct. 12, DeSantis signed an executive order that allowed the Florida Division of Emergency Management to pay for Americans in Israel to fly back to the U.S. The flights, however, were organized by Tampa-based nonprofit Project Dynamo, which specializes in rescuing Americans in distress, and DeSantis’ primary role was to fund the flights,” the journalist added.
“On the same day, the U.S. announced they would help Americans evacuate on charter flights. Some 1,500 Americans did leave Israel with help from the U.S. government. U.S. citizens were responsible for paying for the government flights, while DeSantis footed the bill for his flights.”
NBC News never added comment, and the fact-checking attempt was widely ridiculed on social media.
Additionally, DeSantis criticized the lack of assistance from the State Department and the embassy in Israel, contrasting it with the government’s support for illegal immigrants entering the country.
“Helpful tip: when something is correct you just call it ‘True.’ No worries, we know you’re not super familiar with truth, NBC,” Mediaite’s Caleb Howe said.
Author Tim Carney added, “Once again, fact checkers at best are opinion writers with facts—which is a great genre. But here the opinion is basically ‘DeSantis is a booger.’”
“It was sad because the State Department and the embassy over in Israel were not helpful to these people. If you think about it, illegal aliens come across our southern border and the federal government will fly them all over the country for free,” DeSantis said.
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