Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was called out by the Associated Press on Friday after it said one of its reporters was bullied by his press secretary. In a letter sent Friday, incoming Associated Press CEO Daisy Veerasingham condemned press secretary Christina Pushaw’s “dangerous” tweets targeting a Florida reporter who wrote an article highlighting the fact that one of DeSantis’ top donors is a major investor in an antibody treatment the governor has been heavily promoting. Pushaw responded by retweeting the article with the phrase, “Drag them.” The tweet “resulted in a torrent of abusive comments directed at the reporter,” Veerasingham wrote.
Pushaw continued her “systemic bullying,” according to Veerasingham, tweeting at the reporter that she would “put [him] on blast” if the article was not changed, and then retweeting another Twitter user urging people to, “Light. Them. Up.” “After activating the mob, she then deleted some of the tweets. But their effect cannot be erased… This type of harassing behavior can cause great harm,” Veerasingham told DeSantis, urging him to “eliminate this attack strategy.” Pushaw responded by calling the AP’s complaint “reprehensible and beyond the pale,” arguing in comments to The Free Press that the article was meant “to score political points against the governor” and the real victims “are the people of Florida.”