Allies of former President Donald Trump are taking increasingly bigger swings at Ron DeSantis as it becomes clearer that the Florida governor could jump into the 2024 presidential campaign.
As DeSantis remained silent over the weekend on Trump’s looming legal problems, Trumpworld returned to doing what they do best: Hurling even more attacks at the Florida governor. This time around, Trump cronies criticized DeSantis for not denouncing a so-far nonexistent Trump indictment. The uproar on social media left one Trumpworld pundit calling on DeSantis to phone up the National Guard to protect Trump from being extradited to face justice.
“Your silence on President Trump’s leaked indictment and his potential extradition and arrest by NY prosecutorial communist thugs is deafening,” pro-Trump radio host John Fredericks tweeted. “Trump is a resident of your state. You can no longer hide behind book tours & expensive DC consultants.”
The right-wing radio host and Steve Bannon ally added: “You have to choose between your Wall Street gangster-bankster big donor hedge fund open border benefactors-or us. Who do you choose to stand with, Ron?”
That’s just a taste of—but far from the only—frustration that’s begun to boil over in Trumpworld over DeSantis staying silent about Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation into the former president.
“So is DeSantis going to say anything?” former Trump White House official Sebastian Gorka wrote on Truth Social. “Curious.” Similarly, Donald Trump Jr. wrote: “Pay attention to which Republicans spoke out against this corrupt BS immediately and who sat on their hands and waited to see which way the wind was blowing.”
But the DeSantis pile-on didn’t end there.
“Unforced error for Ron Desantis to be silent here. I mean the guy did endorse you,” former RSBN host turned failed congressional candidate Mike Crispi said. “DeSantis is a fraud who has remained silent as Donald Trump, the man he used to advance his political career, is being persecuted,” Trump-aligned consultant Alex Bruesewitz declared.
Other MAGA-diehards took it a step further. Far-right radio host Stew Peters called upon DeSantis to enlist the Florida National Guard to protect Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate from being arrested.
“If Ron Desantis is the conservative hero he projects himself to be, he should REFUSE to honor the arrest warrant for President-in-exile Trump and send the Florida National Guard to Mar-a-Lago to ensure Trump’s protection,” the shock jock tweeted. Peters further told The Daily Beast on Sunday: “DeSantis is silent on the news of this bogus indictment because he’s complicit in weaponizing the DOJ against J6ers, as well as against Trump.”
A DeSantis campaign spokesperson didn’t return The Daily Beast’s request for comment on this story. However, despite the silence from the DeSantis camp, his online supporters have responded to the attacks, arguing DeSantis—who the Daily Beast reported this past week struggles at times to read the room—doesn’t need to say a word.
“DeSantis doesn’t owe Trump anything IMO,” Brendon Leslie, editor of the pro-DeSantis website, Florida’s Voice, wrote.
Those within Trump’s orbit believe DeSantis’ silence on the case—stemming from alleged hush-money payments made by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen at the request of the former president to pornstar Stormy Daniels—will politically help and lead the former president to even wider margins in the polls. A source close to Trump and Trumpworld operatives told The Daily Beast they see it as an opportunity to draw a clear distinction for “America First” voters between the former president and DeSantis.
“Ron DeSantis clearly wants Trump’s voters. He is attempting a flip-flop on Ukraine to appeal to them. Well, guess, what? Those Trump voters are obsessed and enraged with the prospect of a Democratic District Attorney using his power to try to take out Trump,” a Republican operative familiar with Trump’s 2024 campaign strategy told The Daily Beast. “They are noticing Ron’s silence.”
Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung expressed similar sentiment on Twitter, notably without naming DeSantis. “This is past the point of no return for certain Republicans who stay silent,” he ominously wrote on Twitter.
“I would add that Monday morning would be 48 hours and anyone who comes out with a statement obviously had to poll test what position to take, which means they have no brain of their own,” Cheung added, when reached by The Daily Beast on Sunday evening.
It all comes as Trumpworld remains split on whether or not to protest Trump’s possible indictment. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) told The Daily Beast on Sunday afternoon that demonstrations weren’t wise due to her belief that they could be derailed by federal agents who could “attempt to incite political violence.”