Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis calls out ’60 Minutes’ for cutting large portions of his vaccine distribution answer

ron desantis florida vaccine 60 minutes
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

  • Florida’s governor is taking CBS’s “60 Minutes” to task after a segment aired on Sunday.
  • CBS defended the package, which linked DeSantis donations to a grocery store vaccine deal.
  • The Publix grocery chain said the program made an “irresponsible suggestion” of pay-to-play.
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis criticized a “60 Minutes” segment that omitted large portions of his explanation of how a grocery store chain got approved for vaccine distribution in Palm Beach County.

The story focused on the Sunshine State’s vaccine rollout and a recent $100,000 donation from the Publix supermarket chain to DeSantis’ next gubernatorial campaign in 2022. Publix partnered with the state to administer vaccines in Palm Beach County as eligibility opened up.

In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, CBS defended the package, which was reported by correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi.

“We requested an interview with Gov. Ron DeSantis, he declined; We spoke to State Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz twice, but he declined to be interviewed on camera for our story until well after our deadline,” the CBS spokesperson wrote in the statement. “The idea we ignored their perspective is untrue.”

DeSantis’ office released a statement disputing the framing of the CBS segment.

“The irresponsible suggestion that there was a connection between campaign contributions made to Governor DeSantis and our willingness to join other pharmacies in support of the state’s vaccine distribution efforts is absolutely false and offensive,” a DeSantis spokesperson said in the statement on Monday.

The Democratic mayor of Palm Beach County, David Kerner, came to the Republican governor’s defense.

“I watched the 60 Minutes segment on Palm Beach County last night and feel compelled to issue this statement,” Kerner said on Monday. “The reporting was not just based on bad information – it was intentionally false.”

Kerner said he offered to provide his “insight” into how the deal went down, but “60 Minutes” declined.

Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz, also a Democrat, tweeted at the show to express his discontent in how the segment turned out.

In the CBS statement released on Tuesday, the network spokesperson said Kerner was interviewed for the story.

“Counter to his statement yesterday, we also spoke on the record with Palm Beach County Mayor David Kerner. For over 50 years, the facts reported by 60 Minutes have often stirred debate and prompted strong reactions. Our story Sunday night speaks for itself.”

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The facts in the Capitol riot investigation ‘do support’ sedition charges, prosecutor says

capitol riot military
In this Jan. 6, 2021 file photo rioters supporting President Donald Trump storm the Capitol in Washington.

  • More than 400 people are facing criminal charges in the attack on the US Capitol on January 6.
  • The evidence also supports sedition charges, the prosecutor leading the investigation said.
  • Sedition is defined as conspiring to overthrow the US government or to “prevent, hinder, or delay” the execution of US laws.
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The investigation into the January 6 attack on the US Capitol will most likely result in sedition charges against some of the suspects, the federal prosecutor who was leading the investigation said in an interview Sunday.

“I believe the facts do support those charges. And I think that, as we go forward, more facts will support that,” Michael Sherwin said during an interview with “60 Minutes”.

Under US law, sedition is a crime and is defined as conspiring to overthrow the US government or to “prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States” by force. Historically, sedition charges are rare.

In the interview, Sherwin also said the investigation is still looking into whether President Donald Trump is criminally responsible for the riot.

“It’s unequivocal that Trump was the magnet that brought the people to DC on the 6th. Now the question is, is he criminally culpable for everything that happened during the siege, during the breach?” Sherwin said.

The investigation has resulted in more than 400 criminal cases so far, many of which involve significant federal felony charges. More than 100 people have been charged with assaulting federal and local law enforcement officers.

Sherwin said about 10% of the cases are “more complex conspiracy cases” where prosecutors have evidence that right-wing militia groups came to the Capitol with a plan. Investigators are working to uncover more details about what specifically those plans were.

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A top Georgia election official says Rudy Giuliani intentionally ‘lied’ about election fraud by presenting a deceptively edited video as evidence

Gabriel Sterling
Gabriel Sterling, the Voting Systems Manager for the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.

  • Top Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling said Rudy Giuliani “lied” by presenting a deceptively edited video as evidence of election fraud.
  • In a “60 Minutes” interview, Sterling debunked Giuliani’s claim about illegitimate ballots, saying the president’s lawyer showed only a misleading clip to Georgia state senators despite having access to the full video.
  • Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who also appeared on “60 Minutes,” said Giuliani “knows that what he said was not true.”
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A top Georgia election official said Rudy Giuliani “lied” over election fraud claims by presenting a deceptively edited video as evidence, despite having access to the full footage.

Gabriel Sterling, the chief operating officer for Georgia’s secretary of state, made the comments in a “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday, during which he described President Donald Trump’s claims of voter fraud as “fantastical, unreasonable,” and “lacking in any factual reality.”

Sterling, a Republican and Trump voter, told interviewer Scott Pelley that Giuliani presented a selectively edited video to Georgia state senators as evidence. In a clip shown on “60 Minutes” of Giulani presenting the video, he calls it a “powerful smoking gun.”

Giuliani’s video, which also aired in national Trump campaign ads, claims to show cases of ballots removed from under a table and “added in secret.”

However, Sterling said the full video shows a different story.

 

He said when election officials were told they were done counting for the day, uncounted ballots were placed in secure, tamper-proof cases and stored under the table. Shortly after, the officials were told they needed to continue counting through the night.

At that point, the secure cases of uncounted ballots were retrieved from under the table to proceed the counting.

Sterling said the president’s team always had access to the complete video, but Giuliani only presented the state senators with the part that shows cases being pulled out from under the table.

“Rudy Giuliani looked them in the eye and lied,” he said.

Read more: Trump must be prosecuted, or we should just admit presidents are above the law

“From my point of view, they intentionally misled the state senators, the people of Georgia, and the people of the United States about this, to cause this conspiracy theory to keep going and keep the disinformation going, which has caused this environment that we’re seeing today,” Sterling said.

Giulani did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Trump and his allies have repeated unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter and election fraud since the president lost the election to President-elect Joe Biden. However, none of the claims have held up in court and the Justice Department said it found no evidence of widespread fraud.

The belief by some of the president’s supporters that the election was fraudulent fueled the the deadly siege on the US Capitol last week, where many of the rioters chanted and held up signs that read “Stop the steal!”

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, also a Republican, appeared on “60 Minutes” as well, echoing Sterling’s claims and saying Giuliani “knows that what he said was not true.”

“But our state senate did not ask us to come in there so that we could rebut what they said,” he said of the Republican legislature. “And it was actually left as the gospel truth, and it wasn’t. It was fabricated.”

Earlier this month, in a leaked phone call between Raffensperger and the White House, Trump repeated unsubstantiated claims about the election and urged the secretary of state to “find” him enough votes to beat Biden.

The day after the call was leaked, Sterling also debunked the president’s claims, which he said made him “scream” because they were so dishonest.

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