Fox News largely let Donald Trump off the hook for misrepresenting the facts as president, but the conservative network's website issued an extensive fact check of falsehoods he has told about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The Florida governor has officially challenged the ex-president for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, but Fox News said Trump had been "enraging Republicans" by attacking DeSantis since three days before last year's midterm elections and noted that failed to hurt his support for re-election.
"DeSantis managed to stay out of the mudslinging until only recently, and since DeSantis officially announced his candidacy for president on May 24, both campaigns have ramped up their criticism of the other," the website reported. "The Trump campaign, however, has been repeatedly accused by the other of creating false narratives about DeSantis’ policies."
The network called out Trump and his campaign for misrepresenting the governor's record on COVID-19, calling him the "lockdown governor," but said the former president's narrative left out key details and noted that Trump had previously praised his response to the pandemic.
"Before they became political rivals, Trump repeatedly fawned over DeSantis’ pandemic response and for being one of the first to reopen his state, calling him 'one of the greatest governors in our country,'" Fox News reported, while referencing two 2020 tweets praising the governor. "DeSantis has since vowed that the state would never lock down again, and that one of his biggest regrets was not pushing back against the Trump administration’s recommendations."
Fox News also corrects some of Trump's claims about DeSantis on Social Security and the Fair Tax Act, along with his support for FBI director Christopher Wray's confirmation, and gave the governor the final word on the fact check.
"The way I'm being attacked, Trump has run almost $20 million in ads negative attacking me, you know, with frivolous and false smears," DeSantis told FoxRadio host Brian Kilmeade. "The corporate press is attacking me more than anybody else. Democrats are attacking me. They would not do that if they didn't think I was a threat. I mean, if they thought that I wasn't, you know, in shape to really win this thing, they would just be ignoring me. But they're not. They're coming after me. I'm the one that's taken most of the fire. And I think that's an indication that people know that, yeah, we have what it takes and that we're a force to be reckoned with."