Former President Donald Trump quelled rumors of tension between himself and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), telling Newsmax over the weekend they “mutually agreed” on the governor skipping the Sarasota rally to focus his attention on the tragic condo collapse in Surfside.
“Well, we mutually agreed,” Trump said of DeSantis skipping the rally, praising the governor for working “very hard.”
“He’s doing a very good job, and he should be there. I told him. I said, ‘You should stay there. This is not that important for you.’ He of all people should be there,” Trump added.
Trump’s remarks followed rumors of a disagreement between the two over Trump’s Fourth of July weekend rally in Sarasota, with the Washington Examiner citing sources claiming the governor pleaded with Trump to postpone the rally. DeSantis’s office, however, denied any suggestions of infighting.
“He spoke with President Trump, who agreed that this was the right decision, as the Governor’s duty is to be in Surfside making sure the families and community have what they need in the aftermath of the tragic building collapse,” Christina Pushaw, the governor’s press secretary, said in a statement.
“Gov. DeSantis would have gone to this event in normal circumstances,” she added. “He is sure the rally will draw a big crowd on this holiday weekend, as many Floridians are excited to attend.”
Indeed, Trump spoke to an invigorated crowd in Sarasota on Saturday night, covering a range of topics and blasting Democrats for spreading the “disinformation” that Republicans defunded police.
“There’s a word [called] ‘disinformation,’” Trump said. “If you say it enough, and keep saying it, just keep saying it, they [people] will start to believe it.”
DeSantis has continued to devote his attention to the devastating Surfside condo collapse on the other side of the state, appearing next to President Joe Biden, who visited the city last week.
“You recognized the severity of this tragedy from day one and you’ve been very supportive,” DeSantis told Biden during their joint appearance.
Officials brought down the standing portion of the demolished building over the weekend, with the demolition going “exactly as planned.”
The death toll stands at 27 with roughly 115 remaining missing.