Trump hits back at DeSantis following 'porn star' comments, warns the governor could find himself facing 'false accusations' in the future from 'underage' classmates or 'a man'
Trump lashed out at DeSantis after the governor broke his silence on an expected indictment.
He warned that DeSantis could face similar "fake" accusations of an affair as he becomes more well known.
DeSantis had raised the salacious parts of the Manhattan investigation, including Trump's alleged affair with an adult film actress.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday took a dig at Donald Trump over his alleged affair with an adult film actress, after days of silence over the anticipated first-ever indictment of a former president.
In response, Trump hit back even harder.
Speaking through a Truth Social post on Monday, Trump predicted that DeSantis might face his own "false" allegations once voters get to know him better.
"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. "I'm sure he will want to fight these misfits just like I do!"
DeSantis has not faced any accusations of having an affair or of being sexually involved with men or minors. At least 26 women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct; he has denied all the allegations.
In his Truth Social post Monday, issued just hours after DeSantis first threw a verbal punch, Trump shared a more than two-decade old photo of a 23-year-old DeSantis smiling between three women with blurred out faces, whose ages aren't clear. One of the females in the photos is holding a brown glass bottle.
The origin of the photo is Hill Reporter, a Democratic super PAC blog. The New York Times reported in November that the photo was taken after the 2001 to 2002 academic year that DeSantis spent as a teacher at the elite Darlington School before attending Harvard Law School.
Trump posted that same picture in February that had a caption on it that read, "Here is Ron DeSantimonious grooming high school girls with alcohol as a teacher," followed by the vomit emoji.
The "grooming" accusation was intended as a hypocrisy attack against DeSantis, whose staff have accused those who oppose his contentious sex education bill critics dub "Don't Say Gay" of "grooming." The term "grooming" typically refers to pedophiles who try to gain the trust of their underage victims so they'll accept sexual assault without telling an adult.
For months, Trump has been attacking DeSantis with the expectation that he'll challenge him for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, especially given that DeSantis is considered to be his only formidable rival.
Trump has been testing out nicknames and, according to Politico, the campaign has been assembling an opposition file against DeSantis, who has become a rising star in the party but whose personal life still isn't well known.
Trump frequently attacks people's names, looks, and habits, and lobs vicious attacks against his enemies, even without evidence.
The former president on Monday was responding to DeSantis' jab against him earlier in the day. While DeSantis criticized the expected indictment as politically motivated, he also said his administration would not be getting involved in a potential extradition from Florida. The question has surfaced in news articles given that Trump lives at Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Palm Beach, Florida, for much of the year.
DeSantis on Monday also raised the salacious parts of the investigation into Trump, which centers on a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. The comments could signal a point of contrast to come in the contest between DeSantis — a father who has made his young, telegenic family a centerpiece of his public image — and Trump, a twice divorced man known for playboy tendencies.
"I don't know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair," DeSantis said before a crowd of supporters, who laughed at the remarks. "I just I can't speak to that."
Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels, rejected accusations that the payment was unlawful, and criticized the Manhattan DA's investigation as a plot to subvert the 2024 election.
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