DeSantis Gives Interview To Jan. 6 Attendee Wearing ‘Three Percenters’ Militia Insignia

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gave a four-minute interview to a right-wing broadcaster sporting the insignia of the “Three Percenters” militia group and who on Jan. 6, 2021, was among the many mob assaulting the Capitol as a part of Donald Trump’s coup try.

“You may have nationwide, regime media, that they wished to see Tampa [get struck by Hurricane Ian], as a result of they thought that may be worse for Florida,” DeSantis stated in response to a query of whether or not there can be any “accountability” for information retailers for a way they’ve coated the storm.

Neither DeSantis’ governor’s workplace nor his marketing campaign responded to HuffPost queries about why he would conform to an interview with somebody overtly sporting the home terror motion’s brand on his sleeve.

However Christina Pushaw, a marketing campaign spokesperson, praised the interviewer, Brendon Leslie, in a social media put up Wednesday night. “Previously related, highly effective institution lib media in Florida are jealous of him and his workforce. The smears gained’t work,” she wrote.

Leslie, 29, was a broadcast journalist at one of many Fort Myers tv stations earlier than quitting to kind a pro-Trump web site, “Florida’s Voice,” which now additionally helps DeSantis. He has beforehand interviewed DeSantis a number of occasions, however it’s unclear whether or not he ever was sporting the militia group markings previous to Tuesday, when he spoke with the governor after he had completed a information convention in Cape Coral.

He denied being a member of the loosely organized militia group, and stated he bought the T-shirt from a North Carolina on-line retailer as a result of “The shirt is actually cool and badass and I don’t care what you or any liberal journalist thinks.”

The shop acknowledged that the emblem on the sleeve ― 13 black stars surrounding the Roman numeral three and the 12 months 1776 ― was a Three Percenters image however instructed HuffPost that the identical shirt, which options an AR-15 rifle with the Florida flag stylized into the ammunition clip was accessible in black with out the militia brand.

“Three Percenters consider that, simply as a small revolutionary vanguard overthrew the tyrannical British rule in America, a devoted group of recent patriots may rid the US of right now’s alleged tyranny,” according to the Anti-Defamation League website.

The Three Percenters are among the many home terror teams whose members took half within the former president’s try to stay in energy, utilizing violence and the specter of violence, regardless of shedding the November 2020 election.

A number of Three Percenters have been arrested and charged with making an attempt to hinder an official continuing, together with Man Reffitt, a recruiter for the Texas Three Percenters who obtained a seven-year jail sentence in August, one of many longest thus far of any of the Jan. 6 insurrectionists.

“There have been Three Percenter flags waving over the revolt as individuals have been charging into the Capitol,” stated Alex Friedfeld, an investigative researcher with the ADL’s Middle on Extremism.

DeSantis’ governor’s workplace additionally wouldn’t clarify what he meant by the phrase “regime” media, however the time period is steadily utilized by followers of the previous president to counsel that President Joe Biden was not legitimately elected.

Leslie attended Trump’s pre-insurrection rally on Jan. 6 close to the White Home together with different Trump supporters who traveled there by bus after which marched on the Capitol at Trump’s request. He admitted in an interview with a Fort Myers TV station the day after Trump’s coup try that he entered the constructing to “occupy” the Capitol however didn’t take part in any violence.

In a video Leslie posted to Facebook, he’s seen again exterior the Capitol on Jan. 6 and urging others, whom he known as “our individuals,” to not assault law enforcement officials or injury the constructing.

He additionally acknowledged that he had entered the Capitol illegally, telling others that the Capitol and Washington, D.C., police have been solely “doing their job” by conserving Trump supporters out. “They need to. We’re trespassing,” he stated on the video. “It’s one factor to occupy and it’s one other factor to assault… We’re doing this flawed. That is doing flawed.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *