Gavin Newsom says Ron DeSantis broke state laws by flying migrants to Martha's Vineyard: 'It's sick'

Gavin Newsom says Ron DeSantis broke state laws by flying migrants to Martha's Vineyard: 'It's sick'
  • Gavin Newsom said Ron DeSantis broke state laws "by every definition" when he flew migrants to Martha's Vineyard.

  • "What kind of person does that?" Newsom asked during an MSNBC interview.

  • DeSantis transported the migrants in a political stunt to protest President Joe Biden's border policies.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis broke state laws "by every definition" when he flew migrants from Texas to Martha's Vineyard as part of a political stunt to protest President Joe Biden's border policies.

Newsom, who has a long-running feud with DeSantis, said the Florida Republican broke laws relating to the use of state dollars for that purpose. His comments echo those of a Florida Democratic state senator who has sued, saying the state budget stipulates that designated funds must be used to transport "unauthorized aliens" from Florida, and the migrants only made a brief stop there.

"The question is, did he break federal law," Newsom said during an MSNBC interview that aired Tuesday. "It's sick. I'm a parent. Man, I mean, how do I explain that."

"It's like, What? Someone did that? They would do that to kids?" he asked. "What kind of person does that?"

A group of migrants already sued DeSantis, alleging they were duped "to advance a political motive," and a Texas sheriff has opened a criminal investigation. DeSantis has said they went voluntarily and his office provided a copy of a consent form that one signed.

Newsom asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate whether the transport of migrants to Martha's Vineyard "under false pretenses" broke federal laws. He tweeted that what DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott are doing "isn't clever, it's cruel." Abbott has bused thousands of migrants out of his state.

During the MSNBC interview, Newsom mocked "this bravado."

"It's all BS," he said. "They're bullies, nothing more than bullies."

DeSantis responded to Newsom's DOJ request by saying, "I think his hair gel is interfering with his brain function."

Newsom called out Abbott and DeSantis during the interview, asking how many books have been banned in Texas and mocking DeSantis for "rewriting history" relating to slavery. DeSantis recently said the American Revolution caused people to question slavery.

"He doesn't know what he's talking about, except he's successful. And we need to be more assertive to wake folks up," Newsom said.

Newsom has been urging his party to be more aggressive in calling out Republicans. He said everyone hopes that former President Donald Trump "goes to the ashbin of history," but he isn't the only problem. Some Republican governors are at another level of "implementing and applying that demonization through legislation," he said.

"Trump has to be blushing with some of the stuff that some of these Republican governors have gotten away with," he said.

Newsom stepped up his criticism of conservative governors this month, renting billboards in Texas and other red states with abortion bans, to let women know "California is ready to help" women who need an abortion.

During the July 4 weekend, he invited Floridians to California, "where we still believe in freedom," in a $105,000 ad buy.

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