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DeSantis Super-PAC added fake military jets and jet-wash to a video

Ron DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisPaul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • A pro-DeSantis super PAC added fake fighter jets to a video hyping Ron DeSantis' presidential launch.

  • Actual footage makes it clear that Never Back Down added computer-generated fighter jets to the video of an old DeSantis speech.

  • DeSantis formally announced his presidential campaign on Wednesday night.

A super PAC with close ties to Ron DeSantis added fighter jets and jet wash to a new video, underlining how presidential campaigns and their allies are using manipulated footage, Axios reports.

In the video titled, "A President for the People," a formation of fighter jets flies over a speech DeSantis gave in Port St. Lucie just before his reelection last year, with the audio of jet wash added in. As Axios' Alex Thompson, who first reported the news pointed out, the original video of DeSantis' speech shows there were no flyovers or fighter jets in the area at that time. The group did not deny editing the footage.

"The 'President for the People' video encapsulates the mounting issues facing our nation caused by Joe Biden, and how Governor Ron DeSantis will stand up to the challenge, beat Biden, and turn our country around. This message and this election are so important for all Americans," Never Back Down Communications Director Erin Perrine said in a statement first obtained by Axios.

Legally speaking, Never Back Down is mostly separate from DeSantis' campaign that he launched last night. DeSantis, like any other candidate, is allowed under some circumstances to encourage donations to the super PAC and make appearances at events hosted by the group. Thus far, the Florida Republican has already spoken with donors on a call hosted by the group, The New York Times previously reported. DeSantis formally announced his presidential campaign on Wednesday night.

Outside groups like super PACs exploded in the wake of the Supreme Court's Citizen United ruling and related decisions. Unlike so-called "dark money" organizations, Never Back Down is required to disclose its donors through Federal Election Commission filings. Candidates such as DeSantis are not allowed to coordinate with super PACs, though historically some campaigns have tested the definition of what's still permissible to do.

Unlike his rival, former President Donald Trump, DeSantis did serve in the US military. After graduating from Harvard Law School, DeSantis became a Navy lawyer. The future Florida governor was stationed at Guantanamo Bay where according to The Washington Post he advised commanders about how to handle hundreds of prisoners on hunger strike. Many of those prisoners were held at Guantanamo Bay without charges and were forcibly fed. DeSantis was also a legal advisor to a Navy SEAL team.

Military squadrons and demonstration teams are known for flyovers at sports matches and on holidays like July 4, but they do not appear at any campaign event out of concern for the US military's apolitical role in all elections.

Airshow spectators love the powerful blast from low fly-overs, the "sound of freedom" that's a combination of jet engine noise and the disturbed air they leave in their wake. Compared with the scream some of these jet teams leave behind, the audio apparently added in by the super-PAC is quite tame.

Read the original article on Business Insider