Ron DeSantis' office denies Trump called Florida governor 'gutless'
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. (Leonard Zhukovsky /

Gov. Ron DeSantis' office insisted former president Donald Trump wasn't taking a shot at his potential 2024 rival.

The twice-impeached one-term president took what appeared to be a swipe at the Florida governor over his refusal to disclose his COVID-19 vaccination booster status during an interview with the right-wing One America News, saying that elected officials should inform the public whether they've gotten a third shot, reported CNN.

"I watched a couple politicians be interviewed, and one of the questions was, 'Did you get a booster?'" Trump told OAN. "Because they had the vaccine and they're answering like -- in other words, the answer is 'yes,' but they don't want to say it, because they're gutless. You've got to say it, whether you had it or not, say it."

The remarks were widely perceived to refer to DeSantis, a presumed presidential candidate if Trump does not run -- and possibly even if he does -- but the governor's office insisted the former president could have been referring to someone else.

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"President Trump did not mention Governor DeSantis in that interview, so I wouldn't want to make assumptions," said spokeswoman Christina Pushaw. "Governor DeSantis has always been clear about his position on COVID-19 vaccination and boosters: the shots should be available to all but mandated for none, and the choice to get a vaccine or booster is an individual's private medical decision."

DeSantis has stopped short of disclosing his vaccination status, even after he disappeared from public view amid rumors that he was ill from the coronavirus, and he didn't mention the word "vaccine" once in his 30-minute State of the State speech this week.