It was reported Sunday that former President Donald Trump has been increasingly annoyed with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) because he won't say that he isn't running for president and step aside for Trump. The problem, however, is that Trump hasn't said whether or not he is running, so it doesn't make a lot of sense for anyone else to prematurely withdraw until Trump decides whether or not he's running.
According to sources close to Trump, the ex-president has been calling DeSantis "dull" and complaining that he was the one who "made" the Florida governor.
But according to Trump's advisers, the one who is really behind the rumors is actually Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), a major GOP foe of Trump's.
NBC News reported Monday evening that "Trump advisers say that they see a hidden hand at play," as they see McConnell in a pitched battle with Trump over the future of the Republican Party.
The Trump advisers pointed to a podcast where DeSantis threw the first punch. He claimed that his biggest regret in office was failing to be "much louder" in March 2020, when Trump told Americans to stay home during the early part of the pandemic.
According to Trump's people, McConnell's longtime adviser, Josh Holmes, is a co-host. Twitter was then flooded by angry MAGA fans who attacked DeSantis for going after Trump.
"To many in Trump’s camp, it all looked like a setup," said NBC News.
“I like Josh. Josh is great. But he's a wholly owned subsidiary of McConnell World. And there's no way you can tell me that this was all a coincidence,” said a top Trump adviser.
McConnell clearly sees DeSantis as the lesser of two evils, the adviser claimed.
Holmes denied having ill intent toward Trump and said that he doesn't coordinate with McConnell over his podcast, calling it "insane."