(John Ransom, Headline USA) In what’s likely to become a regular occurrence as we inch closer to the 2024 GOP presidential nomination fight, advisors for former President Donald Trump and Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis squared off on comments made by DeSantis that he regretted not doing more to oppose the Trump lockdown in the early days of the pandemic.
“The remarks made for irresistible headlines, the two GOP heavyweights and possible 2024 contenders were feuding,” reported NBC News. “Just days before, Trump had appeared to take a swipe at DeSantis, calling politicians who have refused to reveal their vaccination status ‘gutless.’”
— Meridith McGraw (@meridithmcgraw) January 18, 2022
Behind it all, said Trump advisors, is Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Insiders accused McConnell of trying to create a feud between DeSantis and the former president as both leaders weigh their presidential prospects.
“They pointed to DeSantis’ appearance on the Ruthless podcast, which is co-hosted by McConnell’s longtime adviser Josh Holmes, after the Florida governor criticized the Covid lockdowns that Trump had encouraged early on in the pandemic,” said the Daily Mail.
Trump has accused DeSantis of wanting the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, a claim that DeSantis has yet to deny publicly, said the Mail.
“DeSantis and his staff knew what they were doing. How many Florida general election voters are listening to the Ruthless podcast?” asked one Trump advisor who was speaking on the condition of anonymity, according to NBC News.
And the liberal media knows what it’s doing, as they jockey to stir the pot with anonymous GOP advisors mouthing off on the Trump-DeSantis furor in stories at multiple liberal media flagships.
Trump has become increasingly annoyed with DeSantis for coveting the 2024 GOP nomination, as Trump has privately made clear to his allies that he intends to run for president against Biden in three years, according to the Daily Beast.
“Indeed, when behind closed doors,” one source told the Daily Beast, “the former president is fond of saying he would easily ‘destroy’ DeSantis in a hypothetical intra-party race.”
Other liberal media has piled on the scrimmage, with Axios similarly citing anonymous sources who have mentioned Trump’s private anger at DeSantis’ “willingness to defy him.”