White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre berated Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., on Friday, claiming he has made a "mockery" of the immigration system with his "political stunts."

Critics didn’t let her get off easy after making the comments, berating the White House representative on social media. 

During Friday’s White House press briefing, Biden’s spokeswoman reaffirmed her previous statements that the Florida governor was playing politics with his handling of illegal immigrants traveling to Florida. 


Jean-Pierre at podium

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre trashed Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., during Friday's WH press briefing. (Screenshot/Twitter)

Within the last several days, DeSantis deployed the National Guard to deal with what his office called, "an alarming influx of migrants" landing in the Florida Keys.

According to the governor’s office, 300 migrants fleeing Cuba landed at Dry Tortugas National Park, and 45 more made it to Key West. 

At Wednesday’s press briefing, Jean-Pierre criticized DeSantis’ actions, saying, "We are talking about people who are coming from countries, who are dealing with political strife. They’re trying to find asylum — and he’s treating them like pawns."

She added that "He’s actually creating a problem."

On Friday, one White House correspondent addressed the press secretary’s statements, saying, "I believe you said it was a political ploy on the part of Governor DeSantis to deploy the National Guard. His office has said that the Coast Guard requested help patrolling the waters off Florida." He then asked her for her understanding of the situation.

Not backing down, Jean-Pierre replied, "And I’m happy to repeat what I said which is, Governor DeSantis has made a mockery of the system and he has consistently and constantly – as many of you have reported – has done political stunts."

She added that he "has not helped to address the issue but has instead decided to put the lives of migrants who are coming here for a better life at risk. And that is what we’ve seen from this governor."

Jean-Pierre may have been referencing the time last year DeSantis flew illegal immigrants from Florida to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Democratic Party members and members of the media referred to the event as a "stunt."

Several conservative Twitter users slammed Jean-Pierre for the smear shortly after she made the statements. 

Ron DeSantis

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' handling of a Cuban immigration surge may serve as a lens into his policy platform should he run for president in 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

DeSantis press secretary Bryan Griffin rebuked the government official, stating, "Yes, @PressSec, you said this two days ago. Talk is cheap."


He then quoted DeSantis, who slammed the Biden administration’s handling of the immigration debacle, saying "What [Florida] is doing is working. And so, I would just tell the White House, not only has the Coast Guard asked us to help, but we have no choice but to help because of your neglect and incompetence." 

Political podcaster Jewels Jones claimed Jean-Pierre made the statement because "The #regime #uniparty #swamp are TERRIFIED of @RonDeSantisFL."

Conservative radio personality Ford O’Connell blasted the White House for abusing the immigration system, tweeting, "Coming to US for ‘a better life’ is not a valid asylum claim, so 90%+ are violating the law & Biden is doing nothing to stop it."


Conservative pundit Dave Rubin tweeted, "Florida is free and flourishing which by definition is making a mockery of these people…"

And conservative radio host Dana Loesch asked, "Remind me again who Democrats used to remove illegal entrants from Martha's Vineyard?" As outlets reported in September, Massachusetts’s government employed 125 National Guard members to relocate immigrants from Martha’s Vineyard to local military bases for shelter.

Cuban migrants in Florida

Migrants in the Dry Tortugas National Park after a weekend of multiple boat landings that saw many come to Florida. Over the weekend, hundreds of migrants landed in the Florida Keys. (Department of Homeland Security)