DeSantis has emerged as a heavyweight contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
The result has been a number of unnamed advisers trashing DeSantis to journalists amid reports that Trump is furious that the governor will not say he will stand aside if the former president decides to run again.
‘Well, I have a very good relationship with Governor DeSantis,’ said Trump on a conference with a small number of reporters when asked about the issue.
The call was to promote his coffee table book, ‘Our Journey Together,’ but Trump fielded questions on everything from the January 6 investigation and impeachment to whether he had plans for another book during the 20-minute conversation.
He did not say whether DeSantis was featured in his book, but said that the 43-year-old owed his political rise to Trump’s endorsement
In a call with reporters, former President Trump insisted he still had a good relationship with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis despite sources recently saying he was furious that the younger man had not offered to step out of the 2024 race if Trump decided to run
Trump’s book, ‘Our Journey Together,’ was published at the end of last year. Another 100,000 copies have now gone on sale after supply chain woes caused problems
‘You know, he won the election the day I announced that I was going to give him my endorsement,’ he said by phone from his home and political headquarters at Mar-a-Lago, Florida.
‘And then I helped him beat their so-called star the Democrat star, who turned out not to be much of a star.
‘But now I had a very good … I have a very good relationship with him.
‘And we’ve had that for a long time. And I was very supportive of him.’
Several polls have suggested that DeSantis would be Republican voters’ favorite candidate if Trump opted out of running again.
Earlier this week, The New York Times reported that DeSantis’ is refusing to commit to clear the way for Trump if the ex-president jumps into the 2024 presidential race.
Trump wants other presidential hopefuls to bow out if he gets in, clearing the way for an easy GOP primary win.
While DeSantis is running for re-election this year, he’s shaping up to be a top GOP 2024 White House contender.
DeSantis told his inner circle the ‘expectation that he bend the knee is asking too much,’ The Times said.
Behind-the-scenes, Trump has reportedly remarked that DeSantis has ‘no personal charisma’ and a ‘dull’ personality.
And when Trump’s people were asked to comment on DeSantis courting social media influencers who share pro-Florida sentiments, Taylor Budowich, a Trump spokesperson, pointed out the role Trump played in making DeSantis.
The pair are among the most popular Republican figures in the country, and with Trump eyeing another presidential run in 2024, many political pundits believe he is irritated by DeSantis’ interest in running against him and his growing popularity
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is inviting conservative social media influencers to spend time with him in Tallahassee
‘The MAGA world has, in large part, followed President Trump to Florida as it readies for the future,’ Budowich told Politico. ‘After introducing the world to Governor DeSantis in 2017 through a Tweet, Floridians have reaped the rewards of President Trump’s America First candidates.’
‘Now with DeSantis up for re-election, it’s an all hands on deck effort to propel Governor DeSantis across the finish line once more,’ Budowich added.
It came after several unnamed sources said Trump had been badmouthing his fellow Republican.
“He says DeSantis has no personal charisma and has a dull personality,’ one told Axios.
They pointed to DeSantis’ appearance on the Ruthless podcast, which is co-hosted by McConnell’s longtime adviser Josh Holmes, after the Florida governor criticized the Covid lockdowns that Trump had encouraged early on in the pandemic.
A top Trump adviser, voicing the views of four other anonymous staffers, told Fox News: ‘I like Josh. Josh is great. But he’s a wholly owned subsidiary of McConnell World.
‘And there’s no way you can tell me that this was all a coincidence.’