House Republicans are under pressure to pick sides between former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, as Trump is using his potential indictment to field loyalty.
Although Republicans have unilaterally accused Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg of pursuing the Stormy Daniels hush money case with politically motivated intentions, House Republicans at the GOP’s retreat in Florida are still having to deal with the Trump-DeSantis battle.
Trump allies have taken cues from Trump and his family and have raised the pressure on DeSantis, even at the retreat that was intended to focus on the unity in the House GOP caucus in its first months in power has been overtaken by the Trump drama.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), chair of the GOP conference and the only lawmaker to endorse Trump, criticized DeSantis on Monday (March 20). Stefanik took aim at the Florida Republican for his comments about Trump’s association with an adult film star.
While answering a question about Trump’s possible indictment, DeSantis repeated what fellow Republicans had said about Bragg’s case being “politically motivated” but added he wouldn’t “know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair.”
When asked about DeSantis’ comments, Stefanik asserted that such remarks would cause DeSantis to experience “slippage in support.”
Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), a lawmaker who gave DeSantis his endorsement despite the Florida Republican not announcing a presidential bid, used a similar line as DeSantis when discussing Trump’s potential indictment.
Roy asserted that it wasn’t possible to ignore that “the former president clearly paid a porn star off to hush up right before an election.”