Former President Donald Trump on Thursday addressed mounting reports that he and Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has been mentioned often as a potential Republican presidential contender in 2024, were growing further apart amid an escalating rift.
Trump made his on Fox News during an interview with Sean Hannity in response to a recent report from The New York Times, which claimed that Trump had a “long-stewing resentment” toward DeSantis because, according to The Times, DeSantis “has been acting far less like an acolyte and more like a future competitor.”
Regarding the Times report, Politico added:
Many conservative media stars, most of whom have long been some of Trump’s most vocal supporters, have been hyping DeSantis in recent months for the governor’s rejection of Covid-related mandates and constant hammering of President Joe Biden. But the support has increased in intensity in recent weeks, a spike easily noticeable on social media and podcasts throughout the conservative media ecosystem. That support is key in helping DeSantis further expand his footprint with influencers in Republican primary politics ahead of his 2022 reelection and as he weighs a 2024 White House bid.
For his part, Hannity said that he was told recently that DeSantis indicated that there was not “any conflict or bickering” between the two and that it was “total BS” manufactured by the media.
“Is he right?” Hannity asked.
“Well, he is right,” Trump responded. “I get along great with Ron. Ron was very good on the Mueller hoax. He was right up front along with Jim Jordan, and all of the rest of them, they were fantastic. The Republicans really stuck together. And it was a great thing. And Ron was one of them. And Ron wanted to run and I endorsed him. And that helped him greatly.”
Trump discusses his relationship with Gov. DeSantis pic.twitter.com/bNlahHavjq
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“And he went on and he’s done a really terrific job in Florida, and I think you know, Ron has been very good,” Trump continued. “He’s been a friend of mine for a long time. It’s totally fake news.
“I think Ron said last week, he said it very publicly, he says 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, I thought it was very interesting, actually. And very nice.
“But he said that, and I agree with him on that 100%. No, I have a very good relationship with Ron and intend to have it for a long time,” Trump said.
KNOW MORE: DeSantis Hints at 2024 Presidential Run
A spokesperson for DeSantis also shot down the reports.
“It’s not a coincidence that this fabricated media narrative emerged during the worst week of Biden’s presidency to date, as it became clear Biden would not be able to deliver on Build Back Better, enact sweeping legislation to federalize elections, or ‘shut down the virus’ as he had promised during his campaign,” the spokesperson told People Magazine.
“Governor DeSantis remains focused on Florida and works every day to earn Floridians’ support for re-election in November of this year.”