Florida Governor DeSantis, Donald Trump

Report: Alleged Megadonor Of Florida Gov. DeSantis, Who Was Ready To Jump To Trump, Has $0 On Hand

Former President Donald Trump famously and routinely complained about “fake news” — often with much justification.
Florida Governor DeSantis, Donald Trump (TFP File Photo)

Former President Donald Trump famously and routinely complained about “fake news” — often with much justification.

But now political forces, including those in the conservative camp, seek to benefit Trump with fake news, at the expense of Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

As the conservative website Twitchy.com noted on Thursday, some in conservative media, including Bo Snerdley, the late Rush Limbaugh’s wingman, and journalist Collin Rugg amplified a Daily Mail story that suggested a pro-DeSantis super PAC was dropping the governor and backing Trump.

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The story, however, left out some critical details that added context to its premise.

To recap, the Daily Mail noted on Thursday that GOP strategist John Thomas, who founded the “Ron to the Rescue” PAC in November, and who had secured financial commitments from “mega-wealthy donors,” was jumping ship because of “the botched DeSantis campaign launch on Twitter Spaces in May.”

Thomas also referenced DeSantis’ “rookie s–t errors” as reasons donors were fleeing. That included DeSantis’ pitch to debate left-wing California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Thomas, the Daily Mail reported, “”had a swath of donors who wanted to put up ‘seven- and eight-figure support’ for DeSantis.”

But now, he told the outlet, “There was never any moment that gave donors any encouragement, like ‘well now is the time.’ So everything just kind of dried up.”

He added that he and the supposed donors would reassess the campaign after the Sept. 30 reporting period to see “how Trump’s cash on hand is and then we’re going to try to determine where we can fill in gaps, if it’s needed.”

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The Daily Mail did quote the DeSantis campaign as calling Thomas’ group a “scam PAC.”

And Twitchy added the relevant context.

On X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, Rob Pyers, the research director for the nonpartisan political consulting firm California Target Book, looked into Thomas’ numbers.

Citing those reports, Pyers posted, “lol…I guess it’s a more eye-catching headline than ‘Unauthorized DeSantis ScamPAC that paid its founder 75% of the $1,621 it raised folds, will now support Trump with the $57 dollars it has left.’”

“Whoops,” Pyers later added, “was looking at the 2022 year-end report, not the most recent 2023 mid-year report. The remaining cash available to support Trump is $0, not $57. Mea culpa.”

Pyers also posted a May 2020 New York Times story that noted Thomas was launched a medical supply company top deliver COVID-19 equipment, and that he was facing a criminal investigation after clients complained he never delivered or only partially filled their orders.

The Ties reported that the state of California pulled back $457 million it spent on 100 million masks with Thomas’ company after the complaints emerged.

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“Not the first time that the PAC’s founder over-promised and under-delivered,” Pyers noted.

In response, DeSantis spokesman Bryan Griffin posted on X, “Fake PAC, fake story. Debunked.”

Christina Pushaw, director of DeSantis’ rapid response team, added, “As of the most recent report (2023 mid year) this ScamPAC – that was never associated with DeSantis in any way – has a grand total of…. ZERO dollars on-hand. I don’t think that’s going to make much of a dent. The only ‘rookie mistake’ here was made by @_phillipsmorgan,” a reference to the Daily Mail reporter who wrote the story.

In its conclusion, Twitchy commented, “This story seems like a big nothing burger. It’s tempting to jump on a story supporting your particular preferences. This is just another reminder to check the backstory before sharing.”

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