Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday defended his press secretary, Christina Pushaw, after The Washington Post reported that Pushaw this week registered as a foreign agent because of previous work for the former president of the country of Georgia.
The Post report said Pushaw “belatedly” registered as a foreign agent of Mikheil Saakashvili after working for Saakashvili from 2018 to 2020.
The Post quoted Pushaw’s attorney as saying that the U.S. Department of Justice had contacted Pushaw to inform her of a requirement to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
Democrats, including Florida gubernatorial candidates Nikki Fried and Charlie Crist, quickly criticized DeSantis and Pushaw.
But asked about the Post story, DeSantis described it as a “smear” against Pushaw.
“I am not deterred by any smear piece from these legacy media outlets. The only reason they’re attacking her is because she does a great job, and she’s very effective at calling out their lies and their phony narratives. And so, whenever they’re smearing somebody, you know that person is over the target, and so they’re scared of that. I would be much more concerned with my press secretary if The Washington Post was writing puff pieces about her,” DeSantis said.
Pushaw has become a controversial figure as press secretary, frequently clashing with critics of DeSantis on Twitter. The biography on her Twitter profile says that she is “debunking false Narratives about Florida” and the governor.
Pushaw also responded to the article in an interview Wednesday with WPTV News. “The governor said it better than I could. It is an attempt at a smear. It’s non-news,” she said, adding that she “worked for a Ukrainian politician, former president of Georgia, ending in 2020. I started working in Florida six months later, so it has nothing to do with my work in Florida.”