DeSantis Accused of 'Manufactured Controversy' With Vow to Probe GoFundMe

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis faced accusations of manufacturing controversy on Saturday after pledging to investigate GoFundMe's decision to shut down a fundraiser for the Canadian truck drivers protesting vaccine mandates.

While many residents of Ottawa and the Canadian government condemned the protests that have taken place this past week, some anti-mandate advocates have offered praise.

Supporters donated millions of dollars to a GoFundMe fundraiser for the truckers. But on Wednesday, the company paused the fundraiser to investigate whether or not it violates its terms of services.

On Friday, they initially announced they would refund contributions to people who applied within two weeks and that the remaining funds would be distributed to charities chosen by the Freedom Convoy organizers. However on Saturday, after receiving donor feedback, the company said they would automatically refund all contributions directly.

Hours after GoFundMe made the promise to return all money, DeSantis, a Republican, wrote on Twitter he would investigate the decision.

"It is a fraud for @gofundme to commandeer $9M in donations sent to support truckers and give it to causes of their own choosing," he wrote. "I will work with @AGAshleyMoody to investigate these deceptive practices—these donors should be given a refund."

The state's Attorney General Ashley Moody, also a Republican, backed DeSantis, writing: "I'm sick and tired of corporations imposing their political will on unsuspecting consumers. As always, I will work with @GovRonDeSantis to ensure Floridians are protected."

Many quickly pointed out on Twitter that the investigation pledge came after the company already said they would give full refunds to the contributors.

"Another fake manufactured controversy," tweeted attorney Rob Filipkowski.

Journalist Justin Ling tweeted: "Florida governor vows to get refunds for donors who are already getting refunds. The system works."

Many other conservatives also attacked GoFundMe over the decision on Saturday. Some Republican attorney generals also said they could investigate.

"Patriotic Texans donated to Canadian truckers' worthy cause using GoFundMe. This BLM-backing company went woke, froze the funds, & failed to deliver Texans' money. Today I assembled a team to investigate their potential fraud & deception. Texas donors will get Justice!" tweeted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

GOP Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene called for the company to be "arrested for theft."

"These corporate communists—this big tech company, basically—that act like a bank, and their corporate communists are stealing money," she said in a video posted to Gettr. "I mean, this is literally theft by deception. It is completely wrong and they should be arrested. They seriously should be arrested."

Newsweek reached out to DeSantis' office and GoFundMe for comment Saturday afternoon. This story will be updated with any response.

DeSantis accused of manufacturing controversy
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis faced accusations of manufacturing controversy after pledging to investigate GoFundMe. Above, trucks are seen at the Ottawa protest on Friday. DAVE CHAN/AFP via Getty Images