The FBI searched former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, on Aug. 8 as part of an investigation into potential violations of three different federal laws, and recovered “top secret” and other sensitive documents.
Since the search, many Republican politicians publicly denounced the law enforcement agency’s actions, calling it an overreach or “corrupt.”
But a video clip that’s making the rounds on Twitter appears to show Florida’s Republican governor defending the FBI’s search.
“Ron DeSantis went on Hannity and things got SPICY,” Twitter user Timothy Burke wrote in a tweet that has been shared tens of thousands of times.
In the video clip, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appears to be a guest on Sean Hannity’s show on FOX News. He seems to respond to Hannity’s comments about the FBI search by saying, “It’s not a raid. They were serving valid process, in accordance with the laws and the constitution of the United States and the state of Florida.”
Lara Trump, former President Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law, is also in the clip and appears to speak out against the Mar-a-Lago search.
Some people on Twitter claimed the clip is edited.
Did Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis defend the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago on “Hannity”?
- Fox News host Sean Hannity
- Spokesperson for Gov. Ron DeSantis
- Original episode of “Hannity” that aired on Tuesday, Aug. 9
- Reports from WPTV and CBS Miami in Florida on a December 2020 press conference from Gov. Ron DeSantis
No, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis didn’t defend the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago on Hannity. The clip shared on Twitter was edited and uses footage of DeSantis from an unrelated press conference in December 2020.
WHAT WE FOUND
Sean Hannity responded to the viral post in a tweet on Aug. 13, confirming that the video clip showing himself, DeSantis and Lara Trump is edited.
“WARNING IF YOU SEE THIS ON TWITTER IT IS EDITED FAKE NEWS! They spliced in comments the Governor made years ago,” he wrote. “Twitter needs to step in and remove this immediately.”
A spokesperson for DeSantis also called the edited video “disinformation.”
Twitter flagged the video as “manipulated media,” but has not removed it from the platform.
Lara Trump did appear on an episode of Hannity’s show alongside Fox News contributor Ari Fleischer on Tuesday, Aug. 9. The edited clip features real responses from Lara Trump about the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, but Fleischer has been replaced with the edited clips of DeSantis.
VERIFY was able to trace DeSantis’ comments in the altered video to a press conference he held in December 2020. Video of that press conference was shared on several local media sites.
The governor was addressing reporters’ questions after law enforcement seized computer equipment at the home of Rebecca Jones, who previously served as Florida’s coronavirus dashboard manager. Jones was accused of illegally hacking into the state Department of Health’s emergency alert system.
At three seconds into the edited video shared by Timothy Burke, DeSantis is heard saying, “It’s not a raid, with all due respect.”
DeSantis speaks the same words at nine seconds into a Twitter clip shared by WPTV, a South Florida news station, and about 30 seconds into a news report from CBS Miami in December 2020.
“It’s not a raid. With all due respect, what you just said is editorializing,” DeSantis said when a reporter referred to the search of Jones’ home as a raid.
The altered video also uses other soundbites from DeSantis, including the following at about seven seconds in: “It’s not a raid. They were serving valid process, in accordance with the laws and the constitution of the United States and the state of Florida.”
DeSantis says these same words at 42 seconds into the WPTV clip.
In the altered clip of DeSantis, his shot freezes in place while Lara Trump and Hannity are speaking. He doesn’t move or react to their comments the way someone would during a live or taped interview.
Additionally, DeSantis’ background in the altered video is the same as the one in the December 2020 press conference clips. He’s also wearing the same tie and jacket in the doctored video and genuine 2020 clips.
Since the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago, DeSantis has also openly criticized the FBI’s actions, writing in a tweet that it is “another escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies against the Regime’s political opponents.”