Former President Donald Trump appeared on Fox News’ Hannity Thursday and said the accusations and reports of a growing rift between him and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is “totally fake news.”
BREAKING: President Trump calls reports of fighting between him and Gov. Ron DeSantis “Totally Fake News”
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) January 21, 2022
“It’s totally fake news,” Donald Trump said. “I think Ron said it last week, he said it very publicly, ‘The press is never going to get in the middle of my friendship with Donald Trump. We’re not going to do that stuff.’”
Trump said he got “along great with Ron” when DeSantis was in Congress and worked with other Republicans pushing back against the Trump-Russia collusion controversy.
“I have a very good relationship with Ron,” Donald Trump added. “And intend to have it for a long time.”
The alleged divide between Trump and DeSantis gained national attention when Donald Trump said some politicians were “gutless” if they had not disclosed if they received the COVID booster shot, or not. Numerous pundits felt it was a veiled shot at DeSantis who has not announced if he received a booster.
“Well, I’ve taken it,” said Donald Trump. “I’ve had the booster. Many politicians–I watched a couple of politicians be interviewed and one of the questions was, ‘Did you get the booster?’ – because they had the vaccine – and they’re answering like–in other words, the answer is ‘yes’ but they don’t want to say it. Because they’re gutless. You gotta say it – whether you had it or not. Say it. But the fact is that I think the vaccines saved tens of millions throughout the world. I’ve had absolutely no side-effects.”
Friday, DeSantis again did not directly answer when asked if he received a booster shot.
“That’s something that I think people should make their own decisions on,” DeSantis said. “I’m not going to let that be a weapon for people to be able to use. I think it’s a private matter.”
MOMENTS AGO: Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) refused to say if he got the booster, even after President Trump called politicians who won't comment on that "gutless": "I’m not going to let that be a weapon for people to be able to use. I think it’s a private matter." pic.twitter.com/fc2mXwqa5b
— Forbes (@Forbes) January 21, 2022
DeSantis continued by saying the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended against boosters for some age brackets.
“I have said publicly that, you know, the FDA recommended against boosters for people in my age group but the CDC overrode that,” DeSantis said. “And I think that was based on politics; I don’t think that that was based on science. Two of the top FDA people actually resigned in protest.”
After reports surfaced about Donald Trump’s “gutless” comments, DeSantis indirectly responded by saying he opposed many of Donald Trump’s economic lockdown efforts in the early stages of the COVID pandemic.
Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, also said there is no “bad blood” between them when she appeared on a Fox Business Network interview. She also said DeSantis should be given another opportunity to support Donald Trump should he announce his bid for president in 2024.
“Well, let’s give him another opportunity,” Lara Trump said. “Perhaps he did not mean exactly how those words are being interpreted. Let’s wait and see. I have not spoken to Ron DeSantis myself about that.”
In numerous polls, DeSantis and Donald Trump continue to be the two likely frontrunners for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and The Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.