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Ron DeSantis, Matt Gaetz, Caught Misleading Fans About GoFundMe Over Freedom Convoy Refund

Ron DeSantis, Matt Gaetz, Caught Misleading Fans About GoFundMe Over Freedom Convoy Refund

GoFundMe is refunding donations as they typically do after shutting down a fundraiser — but this time, because the fundraiser is politically controversial, a handful of angry Republicans are jumping in to mislead their base and direct attacks at the company.

[Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images]

Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) are lashing out on Twitter, accusing GoFundMe of redistributing donations instead of refunding them, and suggesting that the company is in violation of law — despite GoFundMe’s clear statement that it is beginning the process to refund every penny.

The “Freedom Convoy,” a group of truckers and others who are protesting vaccine mandates, had a GoFundMe set up to cover the costs involved in driving a large number of 18-wheel trucks and other vehicles in a very visible and expensive protest. The crowdfunding company has issued a statement, saying that they believed the protest was initially intended to be peaceful, but now that it has passed into lawbreaking territory, it’s in violation of GoFundMe’s rules — funds cannot be raised for illegal activity.

“We now have evidence from law enforcement that the previously peaceful demonstration has become an occupation, with police reports of violence and other unlawful activity.”

When this happens, GoFundMe shuts down the fundraiser and issues instructions for donors to get their money back. In this case, the company has gone even further, saying no one will have to fill out a request form to get a refund, but that they’ll be processed automatically.

GoFundMe announced via tweet at around 3am eastern time that all refunds would be processed and should be received in 7-10 days — so why was Governor DeSantis trash-talking the company at 10am, hours later, for “commandeer[ing] $9M in donations sent to support truckers and give it to causes of their own choosing,” one might wonder?

Gaetz, of course, chimed in too, suggesting that GoFundMe could be in violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

Again, this was many hours after GoFundMe explained that the refunds would be processed automatically — and the company never indicated it would redistribute funds to other causes.

People are calling the two out for misleading their followers about the company’s intentions.

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