Florida’s weapons to Israel discrepancy

Reporter: Claire Galt Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

There was a discrepancy over guns, ammo, drones and supplies sent from Governor DeSantis overseas to help Israel.

The Governor’s Office said it worked with the Israeli Consul General’s Office in Miami to help get clearance on flights to send those supplies. But Reuters reported the counsel general said his office did not work with the governor.

“When you start getting into classified or lethal, then you’re pretty much in the prerogative of the federal government. And it gets pretty tricky for anybody else to do that,” said Porter Goss, a former CIA Director and U.S. Congressman from Southwest Florida.

The DeSantis for President campaign can raise money in a lot of ways. And its item for sale is a t-shirt that says DeSantis Airlines.

In the last couple of weeks, the governor has made it clear that he will send planes to Israel to pick up Floridians and other Americans. And in recent days, he said he arranged to send supplies, including weapons and ammo.

“I think the most important thing is to stand with Israel both publicly and privately and back their ability to wipe Hamas out,” said DeSantis.

The governor’s office said it secured cargo planes used to send weapons, drones, body armor and helmets to Israel through private parties.

But Reuters reported the counsel general that the governor’s involvement was limited to “paperwork.” WINK News asked the governor’s office to clear it up. A spokesman told WINK News the State of Florida did indeed help to get “clearance” to get the military equipment to Israel.

WINK News asked retired congressman Francis Rooney for his take.

“I really applaud his effort. I applaud his thinking out of the box,” said Rooney.

Rooney explained that DeSantis is sending the right message.

“We need to be aggressive about Hamas. They want to take us out and Israel out, and we can’t put up with that,” said Rooney.

Goss, who served President George W. Bush before retiring to Southwest Florida, told WINK News the United States should do everything it can to help.

“What I think the governor is trying to do is to give the Israelis more muscle,” said Goss.

But Goss told WINK News weapons should come from the United States, not Florida.

Does the governor of Florida have the authority to send lethal weapons to an allied country? The answer is, I simply do not know if there’s a way to do that,” said Goss. “My history has always been no, that should have the US flag on it and be controlled, monitored and accounted for through Washington. But that may be old-fashioned thinking.”

But the governor’s office said Florida did not send weapons to Israel on its own. It only helped to get military equipment bought and paid for by private parties to that country.

On Friday, in a speech to the Heritage Foundation, the governor blamed President Biden for the aggression of Hamas, Russia and China. He called the President’s foreign policy rudderless, weak and misguided.

The Democratic National Committee responded by saying DeSantis’ remarks make “It clear he’s out of his depth.”

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