Updated as of 11/18/2022 at 3:35 p.m. ET
Former President Donald Trump is not having a good week. Most of his endorsed candidates lost their midterm races, potentially sinking a shot at control of the House and Senate for Republicans. There are increased calls for the Republican party to move past him in favor of Florida Gov. Ron Desantis, who won re-election last Tuesday.
Trump is feeling the heat of being replaced and has decided to take it out on the new Republican man of the hour. He first sent a small shot at Desantis during a rally in Pennsylvania with the nickname “Ron DeSanctimonious.” Then there was an interview where Trump stated, “I would tell you things about him that won’t be very flattering–I know more about him than anybody–other than, perhaps, his wife.”
Finally, in a bunch of Truth Social posts, Trump criticized Desantis for being disloyal, saying he got more votes in Florida and blaming sunshine for Florida’s COVID response (no, really).
“...Governor Ron DeSanctimonious, an average REPUBLICAN Governor with great Public Relations, who didn’t have to close up his State, but did, unlike other Republican Governors, whose overall numbers for a Republican, were just average—middle of the pack—including COVID, and who has the advantage of SUNSHINE, where people from badly run States up North would go no matter who the Governor was, just like I did,” Trump wrote.
The most puzzling were some absurd claims that he fixed the 2018 Florida Governors’ race for Desantis to win.
“I also fixed his campaign, which had completely fallen apart. I was all in for Ron, and he beat Gillum, but after the Race, when votes were being stolen by the corrupt Election process in Broward County, and Ron was going down ten thousand votes a day, along with now-Senator Rick Scott, I sent in the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys, and the ballot theft immediately ended, just prior to them running out of the votes necessary to win. I stopped his Election from being stolen,” Trump said.
The 2018 governor’s election between then-Democratic candidate Andrew Gillium and Desantis was an extremely close race that came down to only a couple thousand vote difference. For a man who still falsely claims the 2020 Presidental election was stolen to say he actively changed the outcome of another race is, well, ironic. The Broward Country Elections Office recently said there is no truth to Trump’s claims.
From Florida Politics:
“The Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office has no documentation of any federal law enforcement presence during the 2018 elections,” spokesman Ivan Castro wrote in an email. “Also, to clarify, there is no evidence of corruption during the 2018 election cycle in Broward County.”
Gillum’s lawyers also want to know if Trump’s election-rigging claims are correct in a different way. They filed a motion in federal court alleging that the Trump-led government prosecuted the former gubernatorial candidate because of his race, according to the Tennessee Democrat. Gillum is currently facing federal public corruption charges involving donations to his gubernatorial campaign and lying to the government.
From the Tennessee Democrat:
“Former President Trump’s posts raise serious questions about how exactly Trump ‘fixed’ DeSantis’ campaign and what Trump directed the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to do, and whether there is any connection to the FBI’s investigation and later prosecution of Gillum,” Gillum’s lawyers wrote.