Fact Check: Gov. DeSantis Did NOT Tell Biden: 'Go F--k Yourself'

Fact Check

  • by: Dana Ford
Fact Check: Gov. DeSantis Did NOT Tell Biden: 'Go F--k Yourself' Uncorroborated

Did Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis tell President Joe Biden to "go f--k yourself"? No, that's not true: No tape, transcript nor witness corroborates the claim. The source for the quote is a website with a history of publishing false claims. Lead Stories searched for publicly available corroboration and found none and a spokesperson for the governor's office told Lead Stories that DeSantis never said it.

The claim appeared in an article (archived here) published by Real Raw News on February 11, 2021. The article, which was titled "Gov. DeSantis Tells Biden: "Go Fuck Yourself", opened:

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Wednesday did not mince words on a congested conference call with Biden and federal health authorities who are seeking to prohibit domestic travel to and from the Sunshine State. DeSantis and Biden exchanged salvos of biting barbs after the criminal president said the federal government had authority to 'restrict movement' of the people.

Users on social media saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Gov. DeSantis Tells Biden: "Go Fuck Yourself" - Real Raw News

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Wednesday did not mince words on a congested conference call with Biden and federal health authorities who are seeking to prohibit domestic travel to and from the Sunshine State. DeSantis and Biden exchanged salvos of biting barbs after the criminal president said the federal government had authority to "restrict movement" [...]

The article alleges what was said during the alleged call, including direct quotes from both Biden and DeSantis. To say the least, the quotes were colorful, but it is unlikely word of them would not have leaked, given the prominence of both parties and the norm-breaking nature of a profane dissing of a president by a governor. It appears the quotes were invented.

A spokesperson for the governor's office told Lead Stories that DeSantis never said what was attributed to him in the article.

Searches on Bing, DuckDuckGo, Google and Politwoops, a website that tracks and archives public officials' deleted tweets, also did not reveal any credible reporting of the article's quotes. Some results referred back to the Real Raw News article, others linked to articles that similarly lack corroboration by named sources or tape or transcripts of the alleged call.

The article appeared to riff off comments the Florida governor made on February 11, 2021. DeSantis cited a recent report that said the Biden administration was looking at potential travel restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. You can watch his comments below.

Real Raw News is a website with a history of publishing false claims. See our previous coverage of its stories here, here and here.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes realrawnews.com as:

An anonymously run website that has published baseless and debunked conspiracies about COVID-19 and U.S. politics.

According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

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  Dana Ford

Dana Ford is an Atlanta-based reporter and editor. She previously worked as a senior editor at Atlanta Magazine Custom Media and as a writer/ editor for CNN Digital. Ford has more than a decade of news experience, including several years spent working in Latin America.

Read more about or contact Dana Ford

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