Trump and DeSantis Go After Each Others’ Sex Life
Ron DeSantis responded on Monday to Donald Trump’s potential indictment on criminal charges related to paying porn star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about their alleged affair ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The Florida governor, currently the biggest obstacle between Trump and a potential rematch against President Biden, toed the Republican Party line by calling Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg a “Soros-funded prosecutor” who is “weaponizing” his office to impose a “political agenda.”
DeSantis very easily could have left it at that … but he didn’t, continuing to take a jab at Trump’s rumored dalliance with Daniels. “Look, I don’t know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair,” he told reporters.
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DeSantis on likely Trump indictment:
"Look, I don't know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair." pic.twitter.com/5hOJi78aKU
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) March 20, 2023
Trump fired back later on Monday with a post appearing to suggest DeSantis could be gay. “Ron DeSanctimonious will probably find out about FALSE ACCUSATIONS & FAKE STORIES sometime in the future, as he gets older, wiser, and better known, when he’s unfairly and illegally attacked by a woman, even classmates that are “underage” (or possibly a man!),” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “I’m sure he will want to fight these misfits just like I do!”
Trump added an image of DeSantis with his former high school students, which Trump already shared last month along with a suggestion DeSantis could be a pedophile.
Trump reposted his attack on DeSantis so that it now contains not just homophobia/transphobia but also grooming allegations pic.twitter.com/dPQ72X5m1T
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 20, 2023
As Rolling Stone reported in November, Trump had spent months privately soliciting and regurgitating various bits of salacious “gossip about DeSantis, including unverified allegations about his private life.” At the time, Rolling Stone declined to publish exactly what the former president had been spreading to close advisers and longtime associates. However, one of the uncorroborated or baseless rumors that Trump was gossiping about was, in fact, about DeSantis supposedly being gay, two people familiar with the matter say.
Both sources say that in some of his private comments on the topic, the former president would mock the sound of the Florida governor’s voice, which Trump deemed effeminate.
The exchange on Monday is only the latest sign that the battle for the 2024 GOP nomination is going to be an ugly one. Trump’s impending arrest should only heighten the tension between he and DeSantis, who is expected to announce his candidacy in the coming months.
The New York Times reported on Sunday that Trump’s team is hoping to use the arrest to bring the GOP to his defense, while publicly pressuring DeSantis to respond to the news. “It has been over 24 hours and some people are still quiet. History will judge their silence,” Trump’s “War Room” account wrote on Sunday.
The attacks against Bragg on Monday weren’t enough for Trump’s allies. “Governor DeSantis, you’re better than this,” Steve Bannon said Monday. “That was a weasel approach. Don’t throw anything about the pornstar. I don’t need to hear it from you. Don’t need to hear it.”
“DeSantis is the Trojan horse we thought he was,” added Mike Lindell. “I just want to put that out there, how disgusting he is. … If they arrest our great president, Donald Trump, hands down he wins the 2024 election.”
Donald Trump's loyalists are outraged at Ron DeSantis:
Bannon: "Gov. DeSantis, you're better than this. That was a weasel approach. Don't throw anything about the pornstar. I don't need to hear it from you."
Lindell: "DeSantis is the Trojan horse we thought he was." pic.twitter.com/K9RuXrxXRv
— Republican Accountability (@AccountableGOP) March 20, 2023
Trump announced on Saturday that he expects to be arrested on Tuesday. Bragg’s office has been investigating whether Trump broke federal law by failing to register the $130,000 of hush money his then-attorney Michael Cohen paid Daniels to keep her quiet about her alleged relationship with Trump. The payment should have been logged as a campaign expense given that it was intended to help Trump’s chances in the election by keeping his affair with the porn star hidden from the public.
Trump spent the weekend posting a series of enraged messages to Truth Social, even calling on Sunday night for Bragg to be arrested. “ALVIN BRAGG SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE CRIME OF “INTERFERENCE IN A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION,” the former president wrote.
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