Trump has been trash-talking Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in private, per an Axios report.
Behind closed doors, Trump has been saying that DeSantis has a "dull personality."
According to Axios, Trump is also sore about DeSantis' not publicly ruling out running for president in 2024.
Former President Donald Trump trash-talked Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis behind closed doors, slamming him for his perceived ungratefulness and saying the governor has a "dull personality."
According to sources who spoke to Axios' Jonathan Swan, Trump has criticized DeSantis multiple times in private.
"In the context of the 2024 election, he usually gives DeSantis a pop in the nose in the middle of that type of conversation," said one source, who spoke to Swan under the condition of anonymity. "He says DeSantis has no personal charisma and has a dull personality."
The source also told Axios that Trump goes out of his way during these conversations to say that he isn't fussed about having to potentially take DeSantis on to clinch the GOP nomination in 2024.
A second anonymous source who spoke to Swan said that Trump was irritated with DeSantis because the latter had not yet publicly ruled out a 2024 presidential run.
Axios reported that the former president also said in private that he doesn't understand what the "big deal" is for DeSantis to make a declaration that he won't be running in 2024, saying: "Why won't he just say he's not going to run against me?"
The second source also told Swan that the former president was particularly annoyed over perceived ungratefulness from DeSantis, telling people in private that "there's no way" that DeSantis would have been elected governor without his endorsement.
According to Axios, Trump has been keeping tabs on who has ruled out running in 2024. Several prominent Republicans have not publicly ruled out running in 2024, including former Vice President Mike Pence, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who said in December that he would run for president again "in a heartbeat," and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who in recent months has become an outspoken critic of Trump's fixation on election fraud.
DeSantis is viewed as a prominent frontrunner to challenge Trump for the Republican presidential ticket. Insider's Kimberly Leonard reported that DeSantis' name kept coming up among Trump supporters gathered outside Mar-a-Lago on January 6, 2021, the first anniversary of the Capitol attack, with people picking the Florida governor as their second favorite for the ticket.
DeSantis said in October that he is not considering a presidential run because he's "busy trying to make sure people are not supporting critical race theory."
DeSantis also dismissed rumors that there is any tension between him and Trump. However, on a conservative podcast this week, he admitted he wished he'd been "much louder" in his opposition to Trump when the former president issued COVID-19 stay-at-home-orders.
Despite criticizing DeSantis, Trump has signaled that he would be open to having the Florida governor as a vice-presidential running mate.
Trump has not yet announced a presidential run and said in November that he will "probably" wait until after the midterm elections to confirm if he will make a presidential bid in 2024.
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