Donald Trump praised Ron DeSantis and said he continues to have a good relationship with him. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images
TALLAHASSEE Donald Trump says his perceived rift with Gov. Ron DeSantis is ‘fake news’ even though the Republican governor won’t back down on their high-profile split over Covid-19 vaccine recalls.
During an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday night, Trump praised DeSantis and said he continues to have a good relationship with him. His comments come after Trump last week called out politicians who refuse to disclose whether they received covid-covid booster shots like DeSantis refused to do. DeSantis then hit back last week with criticism of the Trump administrations’ handling of the pandemic.
I get on very well with Ron, Trump said. Ron was very good at the Mueller prank. He was right in front with Jim Jordan and all the others.
While serving in Congress, DeSantis was one of Trump’s strongest defenders on Fox News as former special counsel Robert Mueller investigated alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. of the otherwise backbench Florida Congress on Trump’s radar, which endorsed him for governor and fueled his upset victory in Florida’s 2018 GOP gubernatorial primary.
The tension between the two has drawn increased attention in recent weeks as DeSantis refuses to say he would not challenge Trump in 2024 if the former president runs for re-election.
Trump also recently said he would beat DeSantis in a hypothetical match and touted Covid vaccines. DeSantis was never against Covid vaccines, but downplayed them while promoting monoclonal antibody treatments instead.
At a Friday press conference, DeSantis maintained his previous position that getting a booster shot should be a private decision.
“It’s something that I think people should make their own decisions about,” he said, without mentioning Trump. “I’m not going to use this, let this be a weapon that people can use.
Democrats seeking to derail the gubernatorial re-election effort in 2022 and a possible 2024 presidential bid have highlighted the apparent split between DeSantis and his political mentor.
While Ron DeSantis continues to care only about boosting his own political profile, there’s no doubt that his nasty fight with Donald Trump has only just begun, said Sam Newton, deputy director of communications for the DGA, in a communicated earlier this week. Trump has already attacked and completely derailed the re-elections of other vulnerable GOP governors across the country and it looks like DeSantis could be next.
Trump recruited former Republican Georgia Sen. David Perdue to mount a main challenge against GOP Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who stoked Trump’s ire by failing to block Joe Bidens’ victory in the key state.
Longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone has also repeatedly attacked DeSantis recently, comments Trump was not directly associated with but raised questions about Stones’ motives.
Governor Ron DeSantis refuses to put his own presidential ambitions on hold until President Donald Trump has decided whether he wants to run again, Stone said in a YouTube video earlier this week. I consider this an incredible act of disloyalty and ingratitude.
In November, DeSantis swept Stone, who at the time was threatening to run against him in 2022.
Someone said he was going to run away, but isn’t he a convicted felon? DeSantis told the Tampas Fox affiliate. People are free to run, I think that’s fine, and I’m certainly not entitled to it. I have to earn it, but you can’t run if you’re a convicted felon.
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