Former President Donald Trump has called donors backing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and urged them to stop giving his potential 2024 rival cash, The Washington Post reports.
Some Trump donors have received “displeased calls” from Trump after donating to DeSantis, urging them to stop supporting the governor and “saying he may run” against him, according to the report.
Trump and DeSantis share some major donors, like billionaire Phil Ruffin.
Ruffin, who shares ownership of a hotel with Trump, gave $100,000 earlier this year to DeSantis’ PAC.
DeSantis has also attracted donors who have been critical of Trump, like Citadel founder Ken Griffin.
“There are a lot of establishment Republicans that would come home for DeSantis,” Former Florida Rep. David Jolly told the Post. DeSantis, he said, “has adopted Trump’s playbook in Florida and he does Trump-like things … but he’s actually arm’s-length from Trump.”
Trump has yet to endorse DeSantis in his reelection battle and the governor has not asked Trump to campaign for him.
Trump and his advisers widely expect DeSantis to challenge him in 2024, though DeSantis has declined to say whether he has presidential aspirations.
“Republican leaders everywhere continue to follow and advance President Trump’s ‘America First’ agenda, including highlighting and addressing the crisis on America’s southern border,” Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich told the Post. “The media would rather focus on fake gossip, because the reality is President Trump is stronger than he has ever been.”
Trump has repeatedly told advisers while grousing about DeSantis: “I made him.”
“He’s ungrateful,” Trump has said.
“I knew him from watching Fox, and he’d done a good job about me and other things. He’s an Ivy League baseball player,” Trump told confidants. “I don’t understand what happened here. I don’t understand why he doesn’t appreciate me more.”