Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is insisting that the media actually wanted Hurricane Ian to hit his state for the purpose of pushing a "political agenda."
In the days after the storm, the Republican governor conducted an interview with the conservative news outlet Florida's Voice in Cape Coral, Fla.
At one point during the interview, the news outlet's editor-in-chief Brendon Leslie asked DeSantis if there would be any consequences for weather forecasts that wrongfully predicted that the storm would make landfall in Tampa, Fla.
Responding to the question, the Republican governor claimed the media actually wanted the storm to cause more damage in his state.
"You have national regime media, that they wanted to see Tampa [get hit], because they thought that would be worse for Florida," said DeSantis.
He went on to explain how he believes members of the media think. "That's how these people think. I mean, they don't care about the people of this state," he said. They don't care about the people of this community. They want to use storms and destruction from storms as a way to advance their agenda.
"And they don't care what destruction's in their wake," he added. "They don't care about the lives here. If they can use it to pursue their political agenda, they will do it."
DeSantis, per the news outlet, also said that he "'absolutely' thought that media focus on early forecasts predicting that the hurricane would strike Tampa caused people in southwest Florida's Lee County, where Ian actually made landfall last Wednesday, to lower their guards."
Despite DeSantis' attack on the media, he has faced criticism for what was described as a "botched" evacuation plan for Lee County, Fla. The order was issued less than 24 hours before the storm made landfall; a call climatology expert Brian McNoldy deeply criticized.
However, DeSantis has defended his leadership pointing to the overnight models that indicated a last-minute shift out of his control.
"Tuesday morning ... most of our assets were in the Tampa Bay area," said DeSantis. "As we saw it shift first thing Tuesday morning in the overnight models, we started shifting down. But at the end of the day, you had models that had the storm going in a much different path."