Former President Donald Trump is insisting reports of a conflict with Gov. Ron DeSantis are “totally fake news.”
“I get along great with Ron,” Trump said. “Ron was very good on the (Robert) Mueller hoax. He was right in front along with Jim Jordan and all of the rest of them; they were fantastic. Republicans really stuck together. It was a great thing, and Ron was one of them.”
“Ron wanted to run, and I endorsed him. and I helped him greatly, and he went on,” Trump continued. “He’s done a really terrific job in Florida. Ron’s been very good, he’s been a friend of mine for a long time.”
Next, Trump pivoted to the reported quarrels between him and DeSantis.
“It’s totally fake news,” he contended. “I think Ron said it last week, he said it very publicly, ‘The press is never going to get in the middle of my friendship with Donald Trump. We’re not going to do that stuff.'”
“And he said it very strongly, which I thought was really interesting, actually, and very nice. And he said that, and I agree with him 100%.”
“I have a very good relationship with Ron,” Trump added. “And intend to have it for a long time.”
Trump’s words seem to be an attempt to spackle over reports of a rift; in most 2024 GOP primary polls, DeSantis is running second to the former President.
The comments came in the wake of widely reported tensions between the two, including claims it would be “too much to ask” for DeSantis to preemptively endorse another Trump term in 2024, while he lamented a “dull” DeSantis.
Those on the Trump side of the divide are more willing to stoke the fires of discontent than DeSantis adherents seem to be.
On Wednesday, Lara Trump discounted rumors of “bad blood” between the two Republicans while suggesting Florida’s Governor may need “another opportunity” to demonstrate his support for Trump ahead of 2024.
That same day, Trump associate Roger Stone — teasing his own third-party challenge to DeSantis’ re-election in 2022 — released a video claiming the former President had to “drag (DeSantis) over the finish line” in 2018 against Democrat Andrew Gillum.
Meanwhile, during a Tuesday appearance on the Fox Business Channel, Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez dismissed reports of a split as “media obsession” and “made-up animosity.”
For his part, the Governor is trying to avoid giving engaging quotes on the matter.
“Don’t take the bait, and just kind of keep on keeping on. We need everybody united for a big red wave in 2022,” DeSantis said last week on the Ruthless podcast.
Unity is the word here, at least on the record.