As it stands today, Donald Trump is still the de facto, presumptive nominee for the Republican Party in 2024…but perhaps not for long.
Trump is under tremendous legal and political pressure of late, with a number of probe and investigations simultaneously raining bad news down into his life week by week. For some, there is a belief that an indictment is near – something that Trump has suggested won’t affect his potential plans.
But there are some within the GOP who are preparing to slide into the role should Trump find himself unable to run…and the former President is none too thrilled about it.
Donald Trump put his full force behind Ron DeSantis in 2018, rallying with the GOP gubernatorial candidate in his home state of Florida. “My great friend,” Trump said. “A tough, brilliant cookie.”
Four years later, Trump has yet to endorse DeSantis as he seeks a second term and is unlikely to campaign for him, according to Trump advisers with knowledge of the former president’s intentions. The two men once spoke regularly, a close Trump adviser said, but, “those days are gone.” The two haven’t talked since early in the summer, people familiar with the matter said, and DeSantis has not asked Trump to campaign for him.
And that’s not all:
The former president tracks DeSantis’s public appearances and polling numbers, according to his advisers who, like others interviewed for this story, spoke on the condition of anonymity to share private conversations. He has also soured on DeSantis, repeatedly criticizing him and telling advisers: “I made him.”
“He’s ungrateful,” Trump has said, according to two people close to him. “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 has said, explaining his 2018 endorsement, according to a person who has visited his Mar-a-Lago Club and heard him talk about DeSantis. “I don’t understand what happened here. I don’t understand why he doesn’t appreciate me more.”
DeSantis hasn’t made any official statements on the possibility that he’ll run in 2024, but his political maneuvering has indicated that he is certainly considering it.