Governor Ron DeSantis’ office is throwing cold water on a report from over the weekend claiming that he and former President Donald Trump had a dispute over the Saturday night rally in Sarasota, Florida — saying the story of a “feud” is “inaccurate reporting.”
According to a statement from the governor’s press secretary Christina Pushaw, “Contrary to inaccurate reporting based on anonymous sources, the Governor never suggested cancelling the event. I’d also like to emphasize that there was never, at any time, a ‘plea’ from Governor DeSantis or anyone on his team to cancel or postpone the rally. There was never a ‘feud” either.’”
According to the statement DeSantis did not attend the Trump rally in the Sunshine State because of “his duty is to be in Surfside working to ensure the families and community have what they need in the aftermath of the tragic building collapse.”
A large section of the Champlain Towers in Surfside, Florida collapsed on June 24th resulting in dozens of confirmed deaths and over a hundred missing persons feared lost in the wreckage. The rest of the building was demolished on Monday ahead of a potential hurricane bearing down on the state.
Trump himself told Newsmax that he was the one who told DeSantis not to attend the event, saying, “We mutually agreed. He is working very hard. He is doing a very good job…I told him: ‘You should stay there, this is not that important for you.’ He of all people should be there [in Surfside].”
Meanwhile DeSantis appeared with President Joe Biden in Florida last week at a command briefing near the site of the devastation and had warm words for the current commander in chief telling him, “You’ve been very supportive.”
The initial report from the Washington Examiner quoted an unnamed Republican official who claimed that Trump had failed to “read the room” by holding his rally after the deadly building collapse in Surfside. Pushaw confirmed that Trump and DeSantis had spoken on the phone before the rally and she tamped down any speculation that there was beef between the two.
That speculation flamed up in the media over the weekend not only as a result of the Examiner report, but also because Trump failed to mention DeSantis at his rally even while praising several other local GOP officials.
The rumors regarding tension between DeSantis and Trump come as the former has become a leading prospect for the 2024 Republican nomination for president. Trump himself is also a potential candidate, having said last week that he has made a decision as to whether her will run, but he declined to share that decision.
The Florida governor faces a reelection campaign next year in a state that Trump carried in 2020 which makes his relationship with the former president key going forward. While several media outlets fueled the buzz about a break between DeSantis and Trump over the weekend, both sides of the alleged dispute say that the kerfuffle never happened.