At a press conference on Thursday in Jerusalem, Israel, Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis reportedly hit back at a reporter who inquired about claims made by a Guantanamo Bay detainee.
According to The Independent, Mansoor Adayfi, a former prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, said that DeSantis had observed the force-feeding he reportedly experienced while on a hunger strike in 2006.
When he was a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve, the governor of Florida was stationed at the site between March 2006 and January 2007.
When a reporter attempted inquired about the claims, DeSantis unleashed a verbal tsunami:
“No, no, all that’s BS. Totally BS. Who said that? How would they know me? Okay, think about that. Do you honestly believe that’s credible? So this is 2006, I’m a junior officer, do you honestly think that they would have remembered me from Adam, of course not. They’re just trying to get into the news because they know people like you will consume it because it fits your pre-ordained narrative that you’re trying to spin. Focus on the facts and stop worrying about narratives.” DeSantis said.
DeSantis has already criticized the media for perpetuating a false narrative, in particular with regard to its coverage of the Florida Parental Rights Act, which forbids discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in the school up to the third grade.
Force-feeding inmates has been employed during hunger strikes, although the U.S. government disputes that it constitutes torture.