Florida Governor Ron DeSantis confirmed that he believes Donald Trump lost the 2020 election, contrary to Trump’s assertions of fraud. However, DeSantis also criticized the election’s administration, mentioning concerns over mail-in ballots and social media censorship. He argued that Republicans didn’t fight back effectively and even suggested that Trump inadvertently contributed to his own defeat by supporting the CARES Act, which made mail-in voting more accessible.

In an interview with NBC News, DeSantis argued that the CARES Act indirectly aided in Trump’s defeat as it helped make mail-in ballots more popular. He criticized Trump for embracing lockdowns and “turning the government over to Fauci.”

DeSantis’s comments come shortly after Trump pleaded not guilty to four federal charges related to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election, including conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of an official proceeding. The indictment describes how Trump knowingly spread false claims about fraud in the election.

The Florida governor, now running for president against Trump, asserted that the legal issues surrounding Trump were “not really about Trump,” expressing concerns that the legal system is being “weaponized.”

DeSantis also outlined his view of the upcoming election’s focus, arguing that it should center on Joe Biden’s policies and a “positive vision for the future” rather than past controversies like the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack or events at Mar-a-Lago. If the latter subjects become the focus, DeSantis warned that Republicans are likely to lose, emphasizing that concentrating on a vision for the country’s future is the path to victory.

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