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Ron DeSantis and Libs of TikTok’s Chaya Raichik are fighting on social media

Ron Desantis (left) and Chaya Raichik.
Ron Desantis (left) and Chaya Raichik.

Arguably the two most prominent anti-LGBTQ+ voices on the far right appear to be in a social media feud.

Florida governor and failed Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis has accused hate influencer Chaya Raichik of spreading lies for clicks. Not because of any of the heinous misinform about LGBTQ+ people she constantly posts on social media via her influential Libs of TikTok accounts, of course. DeSantis, whose anti-LGBTQ+ agenda in Florida has served as something of a model for Republican lawmakers in states across the country, is presumably totally fine with all of that.

No, DeSantis took issue with Raichik’s false claim that Florida “gives illegals drivers [sic] licenses.”

On Wednesday, Raichik posted a local TV news story about a Florida woman who was sexually assaulted allegedly by three undocumented immigrants. According to the clip, one of the men accused of the crime had been cited in January for driving without a license, but Florida prosecutors agreed to abandon the charges if the man showed proof of obtaining a driver’s license.

“Apparently FL also gives illegals drivers [sic] licenses!” Raichik wrote in the Libs of TikTok X post. “Biden’s open borders allows v*olent criminals to terrorize Americans.”

DeSantis responded via his own X account, noting that the social media platform had fact-checked Raichik’s post, adding a community note clarifying that the state does not in fact issue licenses to undocumented immigrants and does not even recognize driver’s licenses from states that do.

“Truth shouldn’t be a casualty of attempts to generate clicks and engagement farm,” DeSantis wrote.

Prior to DeSantis’s response, Raichik clarified in two subsequent posts that Florida does not “allow illegals to get a drivers [sic] license.”

Raichik’s false statement had already taken hold, however, as her false statement about the LGBTQ+ community routinely do. DeSantis press secretary Jeremy Redfern posted a thread featuring screenshots of the comments and replies directed at the governor.

“This is the problem with posting things on the internet: people take you at your word, regardless of truth,” Redfern wrote — seemingly without irony, considering the false anti-LGBTQ+ narratives to which the DeSantis administration has contributed.

“This is something our comms team will be dealing with in perpetuity,” he added in another post. “It’s another false narrative that will never go away. All for clicks.”

In a follow-up post, Raichik tried to spin her misinformation as “a sarcastic comment.”

“The last thing I ever thought I’d be doing on a Wednesday afternoon is defending myself against Ron DeSantis,” she wrote. “Now the Governor who I’ve only ever congratulated for his wins and have never attacked, is publicly attacking me calling me a liar and a grifter. Just wow.”

“For the record- I think DeSantis is a good Governor, have publicly said this, and still stand by it. This personal attack from him is disappointing,” she added, characteristically casting herself as a victim as she has often done when called out for her anti-LGBTQ+ lies.

Meanwhile, LGBTQ+ folks sat back and enjoyed the show.

“Heartwarming: the two biggest architects of the rainbow panic are fighting on main,” Media Matters writer Ari Drennen wrote in an X post.

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