According to a report from Rolling Stone, former president Donald Trump has been alternately raging at and ridiculing Ron DeSantis (R-FL) as the Florida governor has been rising as his heir apparent.
The former president, as well as his family, have been sniping at the Florida Republican by claiming he has been "stealing" from Trump, by which they mean he has been appropriating Trump's mannerisms when giving speeches as he sets in motion his bid for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
According to Rolling Stones' Asawin Suebsaeng, in the past few months Trump "... has repeatedly ridiculed DeSantis for ripping off the ex-president’s style."
As one Trump associate told Rolling Stone, "There was this time, maybe a year ago that I remember him making fun of [DeSantis] for doing similar hand gestures and motions. He called it ‘stealing’ from him and [to paraphrase] described it as a lame impression of Trump.”
The report adds, "Trump has a distinctive (and much-satirized) way of gesticulating while casually talking, delivering political speeches, or even 'firing' contestants on his former game show. The sources note that when Trump has seen video clips of DeSantis speaking at public events over the past year and a half, the former president has scornfully mocked the ascendant Florida Republican for appearing to imitate Trump’s body language, movements, and even, at times, speaking rhythm. One of the other sources recalls Trump joking at a dinner event earlier this year that he’d ought to sue DeSantis for copyright infringement."
Adding credence to their complaints, longtime GOP donor Dan Eberhart suggested, "DeSantis certainly mimics Trump’s style, rhetoric and body language. DeSantis’ bombastic style seems to be ripped straight out of a Donald Trump style guide. Trump proved that Republican voters want a fighter and DeSantis aims to deliver."
Suebsaeng adds that "Trump — who behind closed doors trashes DeSantis as charisma-free — has even toyed with launching a 2024 presidential campaign near the governor’s mansion in Florida, which would double as an obvious effort to troll DeSantis. The ex-president has been taking stock of who he feels is sticking with him, and who might defect to Team DeSantis, in 'the Fox News primary,' and has singled out hosts and informal Trump advisers, like Laura Ingraham, as possible future defectors."
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