The perception that former President Donald Trump has an amicable relationship with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) came to a crashing end when a stunning rebuke the former President made of the Florida Governor was made public.
The comments — which Trump made on the record to New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman — were made public as recent polling shows DeSantis becoming a real threat to Trump in 2024.
As part of the research for her recently released book — “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America” — Haberman interviewed the former President.
She details the remarks Trump made of his former ally in a recent article for The Atlantic.
Trump, reiterating comments he made publicly, claimed responsibility for DeSantis’ 2018 gubernatorial win.
According to The Atlantic, Haberman recalled how when she was interviewing Trump late in the summer, he referred to DeSantis as “phony,” “fat,” and “whiny” when asked about him.
The disparaging remarks were made when it emerged that DeSantis had raised more than Trump and President Joe Biden had since January 2021.
The impressive haul was confirmed by OpenSecrets, which analyzed DeSantis’s fundraising as part of its analysis of the top 20 presidential contenders.
By September 9, DeSantis had raised $177.4 million in the last 20 months.
But in the months since the interview, DeSantis has also overtaken Trump in election polls. In a USA Today/Suffolk University poll of registered Republican voters in Florida, DeSantis leads Trump by eight percentage points.
The polling and fundraising figures have led many to speculate DeSantis is laying the foundation for a 2024 bid, which places him in a direct contest with Trump, who is gearing up for his election bid.
Another telltale sign 2024 contenders view DeSantis as a bigger threat than Trump is California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) — who many believe is pursuing his own 2024 bid — going after DeSantis’ politics and challenging him to a debate.