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(LifeSiteNews) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, widely anticipated to announce a presidential run after the wrap-up of his state’s legislative session next month, gave his unvarnished opinions about transgenderism on Monday, calling it “a total fraud” and remarking that American society must choose whether to be “a society based on truth … or deceit.”

DeSantis made the comments to Turning Point USA’s Benny Johnson in a short clip released Monday ahead of an exclusive interview.

Asked to give his opinion on “men taking the role of women” and “taking women’s places” in fields including sports and advertising, something Johnson called “an existential threat to women,” DeSantis said bluntly the ideology is “a total fraud.”

The Republican governor began by speaking about William “Lia” Thomas, the male swimmer who declared he was female and began competing against women, ultimately winning the NCAA Division I women’s 500-yard freestyle in March 2022.

Calling Thomas “a mediocre male swimmer,” DeSantis argued that the female swimmer who took second place was the actual victor. Accordingly, DeSantis last year signed a proclamation declaring 20-year-old Olympic silver medalist and Sarasota, Florida native Emma Weyant the true winner of the race.

RELATED: DeSantis signs proclamation declaring victory for female swimmer who lost to William ‘Lia’ Thomas

For the Florida governor, though, the crux of the issue isn’t just women’s sports but something much more central.

“Some of this is, yes, it’s taking away opportunities in athletics and some other stuff, and that’s really, really important,” he said. “But I think there’s also just the issue of, are we going to be a society based on truth? Or are we going to be a society based on deceit?”

“If you take a man and they dress up as a woman, and you tell me I have to accept that they’re a woman, then you’re asking me to be complicit in a lie, and I just refuse to do that,” DeSantis said. “So, we’ve got to tell the truth, you know, I think the truth will set you free, and let’s just be honest about what’s going on here.”

As LifeSiteNews previously reported, DeSantis also told Johnson he would never drink Bud Light again after the company made a massive misstep by releasing a promotional beer can honoring divisive transgender-identifying Tik Tok influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

“Why would you want to drink Bud Light? I mean like, honestly, that’s like them rubbing our faces in it,” DeSantis said. “These companies that do this, if they never have any response, they are just gonna keep doing it.”

READ: DeSantis endorses boycott of Bud Light: ‘Corporate America is trying to change our country’

“I think we have power as consumers to make our voice heard,” the governor continued, opining that the boycott that has resulted from Bud Light’s decision to sideline conservatives is significant since “if you don’t have conservative beer drinkers, you’re going to feel that.”

“It’s part of a larger thing where corporate America is trying to change our country, trying to change policy, trying to change culture,” DeSantis said. “I think pushback is in order, including with Bud Light.”

DeSantis, who has engaged in a much-ballyhooed political battle with Disney after the massive corporation publicly opposed the state’s law to protect young children from transgender ideology, said he would “rather be governed by ‘we the people’ than by woke companies.”

During his tenure as governor of the state of Florida, DeSantis has protected women’s sports by banning men from competing against women. He has also signed legislation forbidding teaching young children about gender ideology in the classroom from kindergarten through third grade, a measure that may soon be expanded to protect children all the way through high school.

In October, the Florida Board of Medicine’s legislative committee voted to ban transgender drugs and surgeries for minors. This month, the state’s GOP-led Senate passed Senate Bill 254 to protect gender-confused children from dangerous transgender interventions.