The Trump campaign fired another salvo as speculation Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis is getting closer to announcing his 2024 Republican presidential candidacy.
A spokesperson for Trump’s campaign released a statement on Wednesday (May 17), claiming that DeSantis and “his cronies” are pressuring state lawmakers to switch their endorsement from former President Donald Trump to DeSantis under the threat of a veto.
DeSantis officials denied the allegations as “false.”
In the statement, Steven Cheung, spokesperson for the Trump campaign, suggested it wasn’t surprising that DeSantis “and his political cronies” continue to “terrorize” the Florida Legislature with the veto pen if they disagree with a demand to support his candidacy.
Cheung added, “There are some brave legislators” standing up to DeSantis’s “swamp-like behavior” and scare tactics to do what’s “right for Florida and the country.”
The Trump spokesman explained that every Florida Lawmaker outside of DeSantis’s control, like Florida’s federal congressional delegation, support Trump — asserting the former President is the “only candidate who can beat Joe Biden” and reclaim the White House.
But Matt Wolking, the director of Strategic Communications for “Never Back Down,” a pro-DeSanti PAC, denied Cheung’s assertion.
Wolking pointed to a lack of “evidence to support this false accusation,” noting that there wasn’t evidence because the claims had been completely fabricated by Trump operatives who were “manufacturing fake news” about DeSantis to explain the nearly 200 endorsements the Florida Governor had received in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Florida.
This back-and-forth between DeSantis and Trump, the two Republicans leading GOP presidential primary polls, come as reports surfaced that a handful of Florida lawmakers flipped their endorsement from Trump to DeSantis.