Ron DeSantis floats pardoning Trump and Jan 6 rioters after ‘train wreck’ Twitter launch – live updates

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Listen: Ron DeSantis’s presidential launch suffers major technical issues

Ron DeSantis’ hotly-anticipated 2024 campaign launch fell flat on Wednesday night when it was marred by technical glitches from the off.

The Florida governor, 44, chose to announce his presidential run in an unconventional way – in a Twitter Spaces event with Elon Musk and David Sacks.

But, the event got off to a rocky start when it crashed several times and the sound repeatedly dropped out.

While Musk claimed the servers were overwhelmed by the sheer amount of people tuning in to listen, Mr DeSantis faced ridicule for the underwhelming launch from online commentators and both sides of the political aisle.

Mr DeSantis, seen as Donald Trump’s biggest rival for the Republican vote, sought to brush off the debacle on Fox News interview and has doing the rounds of rightwing media on Thursday.

In one interview he said, if elected president, he would consider pardons for those charged with January 6 offences, from people at the Capitol riot all the way up to Mr Trump.


Full story: DeSantis says he will consider pardon for Trump if elected

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Thursday said he would “aggressively” use presidential pardons to free people who’ve been charged or convicted of crimes stemming from participation in the January 6 attack on the Capitol as well as former president Donald Trump.

Oliver O’Connell25 May 2023 19:45


Fury in Trump’s inner circle as Fox News host seemingly backs Ron DeSantis

Members of Donald Trump’s inner circle called out Fox News host Mark Levin on Twitter for tweeting the link to Ron DeSantis’ campaign and accused the conservative commentator of fundraising for the Florida governor.

Ariana Baio reports on what happened next.

Oliver O’Connell25 May 2023 19:30


How did a question about Ukraine turn into a rambling answer about trans rights and climate change?

Andrew Feinberg reports on how the Florida governor failed to answer a direct question about Russia’s war on Ukraine during an interview with Trey Gowdy on Fox News.

Oliver O’Connell25 May 2023 19:15


DeSantis says he would consider pardoning Jan 6 defendants including Trump, if elected

In an interview with The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said if he’s elected president that on his first day in office, he will consider pardoning any January 6th defendant he believes was politically prosecuted from a member of the public all the way up to President Trump himself.

Here’s the full transcript.

GOV DESANTIS: The DOJ and FBI have been weaponized. We see that. We see it in a variety of contexts, some of which you mentioned. Some of it is the FBI going after parents, going to school board meeting. Some of it’s how they treat a pro-life demonstrator, how they don’t go after people that are attacking pro-lifers. And so what I’m going to do is — I’m going to do on day one – I will have folks that will get together and look at all these cases, who people are victims of weaponisation or political targeting, and we will be aggressive at issuing parties. Now, some of these cases, some people may have a technical violation of the law.

But if there are three other people who did the same thing, but just in a context like BLM and they don’t get prosecuted at all, that is uneven application of justice, and so we’re going to find ways where that did not happen. And then we will use the pardon power — and I will do that at the front end. You know, a lot of people wait until the end of the administration to issue pardons. We’re going to find examples where government’s been weaponised against disfavoured groups, and we will apply relief as appropriate. But it will be done on a case-by-case basis because I think you’ve got to make sure that… There’s a whole bunch of cases that don’t necessarily get headlines. But if people are being treated just because they don’t get on TV or something, they’re being treated disfavorably. They need to have a fair hearing as well.

CLAY: And that could be from a grandma who got arrested and prosecuted too much all the way up to, potentially, Trump himself. Is that fair to say when you analyse what the charges might have been brought on a federal level?

GOV. DESANTIS: I would say any example of disfavoured treatment based on politics or weaponisation would be included in that review, no matter how small or how big.

Oliver O’Connell25 May 2023 19:00


Voices: The right’s delusions about Ron DeSantis

Republicans would love to be able to have a sort of super-candidate who could simultaneously pass all of the policies Mr Trump enacted, nominate all of his judges, not fire off tweets that cause them headaches, but also help them get back on the path of victories in the suburbs while also not alienating the very non-college-educated voters (including a non-negligible slice of people of colour) that Mr Trump brought into the Republican fold.

But Mr DeSantis likely isn’t that candidate and he certainly isn’t the beta version of Mr Trump. If anything, he is likely to be the next version of Ted Cruz.

Oliver O’Connell25 May 2023 18:45


DeSantis dismisses climate change as ‘politicisation of weather’

Ron DeSantis was speaking to former congressman Trey Gowdy, a conservative Republican who himself is a climate change denier, in an interview with the conservative news network following his disastrous Twitter Spaces event minutes earlier with Elon Musk.

Gowdy began the conversation on the topic by bluntly noting that Florida had experienced “a number of hurricanes” — a statement of the profoundly obvious — before asking the governor for his views on climate change and the government’s role in addressing it.

Oliver O’Connell25 May 2023 18:30


DeSantis want to model America after Florida — here’s why that’s alarming civil rights groups

The Independent’s Alex Woodward reports on how three of the largest civil rights groups in the country issued Florida travel advisories in an effort to draw attention to the presidential candidate’s far-right campaign.

Oliver O’Connell25 May 2023 18:15


Can DeSantis win the White House as he won Florida?

John Bowden profiles the Yale-educated governor who has become the highest-profile Republican seeking to dethrone Donald Trump.

Oliver O’Connell25 May 2023 17:45


Key takeaways from Ron DeSantis’ campaign rollout

After a 30-minute delay caused by technological glitches with Twitter’s “Spaces” audio conversation system, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ much-hyped announcement of his 2024 presidential campaign kicked off with a billionaire praising another billionaire.

The first billionaire, venture capitalist and DeSantis booster David Sacks, opened the conversation with fulsome praise for Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX impresario who bought Twitter last year with the aim of allowing unfettered conversations by all sorts of right-wing characters who’d been banned for violating the site’s rules under its prior management.

Mr Sacks then turned to introduce Mr DeSantis, who he said first drew his attention when the Florida governor began attacking public health measures recommended by medical professionals at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

And with that, Mr DeSantis began making his pitch to voters — or at least the voters who are on Twitter and cared enough to listen.

Here are some key takeaways.

Oliver O’Connell25 May 2023 17:14


Elon Musk insists DeSantis troubled Twitter launch was a success

Oliver O’Connell25 May 2023 16:45

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