Trouble in GOP paradise: The Trump-DeSantis alliance frays

Trouble in GOP paradise: The Trump-DeSantis alliance frays
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, right, speaks with members of Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., leadership during the governor's first visit to the base since becoming governor, Jan. 16, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Solomon Cook)

Ever since Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis edged out Donald Trump for the top spot in a presidential straw poll last month, it seemed inevitable that tensions between the once-chummy camps of both men would flare. Indeed, that appears to be the case in the latest squabbling over who told whom to do what regarding Trump's Sarasota rally last weekend.

After DeSantis reportedly begged Trump last week to delay his campaign-style rally out of respect for the ongoing search-and-rescue efforts in the Surfside condominium collapse, things started getting murky in terms of which Florida Man flipped off the other one first.

Had DeSantis snubbed Trump by saying he would not attend the rally, or had Trump stiff-armed DeSantis into keeping his distance? That depends on whom you ask. In the world according to Trump, he was the one who told DeSantis not to attend the rally, which was being held some 200 miles away from the site of the Surfside tragedy.

"We mutually agreed. He is working very hard. He is doing a very good job. He should be there," Trump told Newsmax. "I told him: 'You should stay there, this is not that important for you.' He of all people should be there."

But DeSantis aides told the New York Times it was the Florida governor who made the call. "He spoke with President Trump, who agreed that it was the right decision, because the governor's duty is to be in Surfside," said DeSantis press secretary, Christina Pushaw, who also denied any effort by the governor to delay the rally.

Whatever the case, Trump held the rally, DeSantis did not attend, and somehow Trump shockingly forgot to give DeSantis even a single mention in his 90-minute stemwinder—despite thanking other local GOP officials in Florida.

What Trump did manage to work in was a teaser about his own potential 2024 presidential bid. "We are looking at the election, more than looking at it," Trump said to an eruption of cheers from the crowd.

Some allies of both men have been trying to downplay talk of tensions between the two. But the Times' Annie Karni confirms what we all know to be true—Trump's tragically tiny ego simply cannot tolerate the notion of anyone cutting into his limelight.

People close to Mr. Trump said he had become mildly suspicious of a supposed ally. He has grilled multiple advisers and friends, asking "what's Ron doing," after hearing rumors at Mar-a-Lago that Mr. DeSantis had been courting donors for a potential presidential run of his own. He has asked aides their opinion of a Western Conservative Summit presidential straw poll for 2024 Republican presidential candidates, an unscientific online poll that showed Mr. DeSantis beating Mr. Trump.
In case you didn't get your fill of fireworks over the 4th, don't fret! There's sure to be an epic display over the coming months courtesy of the GOP's elite force of Florida Men
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