Former president Donald Trump Jr’s son Donald Trump Jr blasted Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for not defending his father enough as the former president faces indictment and potential extradition from the state.
The younger Mr Trump blasted the Florida governor, who is seen as a potential challenger to his father, for offering a weak defence if he would take any action if the former president is indicted.
“That's what it is guys, by the billionaire donors, 100 per cent controlled opposition,” Mr Trump said on his show Triggered with Don Jr. He accused the governor of seeing which way political trends moved before making a statement. “So I was hoping for a strong response, but we got a milquetoast response. We got weaker than most RINO Republicans.”
On Monday, a reporter asked Mr DeSantis about what action if any he would take were Mr Trump indicted. The former president faces a potential indictment from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in relation to him allegedly paying adult film actress Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about a supposed affair.
“Look, I don’t know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair. I can’t speak to that,” Mr DeSantis said. “But what I can speak to is that if you have a prosecutor who is ignoring crimes happening every single day in his jurisdiction and he chooses to go back many, many years ago to try and do something about porn star hush money payments, that’s an example of pursing a political agenda.”
But Mr DeSantis said he would not take action.
“I can’t spend my time worrying about things of that nature,” he said. “So, we’re not gonna be involved in it in any way.”
Mr Trump in turn criticised the weak response and said it showed Mr DeSantis was not ready to challenge his father for the Republican nomination for president, alluding to a story from The Daily Beast that Mr DeSantis has a network of paid influencers to boost him online.
“You can get plenty of people to do that, as Ron has,” he said. “But that doesn't make you ready for the big leagues. If you can't understand that this is a fundamental issue of our time. Then you're not ready, then it's not your time.”
Mr DeSantis also hit Mr DeSantis on his interpersonal skills, a sore spot as stories have abounded regarding Mr DeSantis’s personal awkwardness.
“I spend a lot of time with DeSantis personally, the image created online by the paid influencers,” he said. “Guys, unfortunately one on one, it doesn't exist.”