- Former President Donald Trump rejected claims that he is feuding with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
- Trump said that he has a “very good relationship with Ron” and intends to have it for “a long time.”
- Reports suggest that Trump is privately unhappy with DeSantis’ refusal to rule out a 2024 presidential bid.
Former President Donald Trump rejected claims that he is feuding with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, despite reports of a growing rivalry between the two Republicans.
“Ron has been very good. He’s been a friend of mine for a long time. It’s totally fake news,” the former president told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday.
“I have a very good relationship with Ron and intend to have it for a long time,” Trump said.
DeSantis was once a loyal supporter of former President Trump, but reports suggest that their relationship has soured as DeSantis refuses to rule out launching a presidential bid in 2024 even if Trump runs.
The former president has often hinted that he plans to run and believes he would defeat DeSantis in a potential matchup and that the governor could be a good pick for vice-president.
The two have also appeared to spar over COVID-19 policies in recent weeks, with Trump blasting “gutless” politicians who wouldn’t say if they’d received booster vaccines.
DeSantis has refused to disclose whether he has had one, and on Friday, appeared to respond by criticizing the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic.
Speaking to Hannity on Thursday, the former president said the rumors of a rift were invented by the media and praised DeSantis for supporting him through special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
“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,” Trump said.
“The Republicans really stuck together, and it was a great thing, and Ron was one of them, and Ron wanted to run [for governor], and I endorsed him, and that helped him greatly, and he went on, and he’s done a really terrific job in Florida.”
Despite Trump’s positive words about DeSantis, Axios reported last week that the former president is irked by the governor’s popularity and refusal to rule out running in 2024.
A source told the outlet that Trump has been privately bashing the Florida governor, saying he “has no personal charisma and has a dull personality.”
Trump has often suggested that DeSantis’ success in the 2018 Florida gubernatorial election was due to his endorsement.
According to Axios, the former president is increasingly frustrated with what he perceives as the governor’s “ungratefulness and willingness to defy him.”
DeSantis has, in turn, reportedly told friends that he does not appreciate the former president’s expectation for him to “bend the knee,” The New York Times said.