Former President Donald Trump shared a post on his Truth Social platform that insinuated, without evidence, that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) groomed underage girls while he was a high school teacher, the Daily Mail reported on Tuesday.
"The post linked to a Truth Social Account that grabbed a digital image of a young man with a bowl haircut who appears to be DeSantis surrounded by three young women," reported Geoff Earle. "One of them, who has her arm around the now-Florida governor, is smiling and appears to be holding a brown glass bottle."
The post he shared said, "Ron DeSantis was having a 'drink' party with his students when he was a high school teacher. Having drinks with underage girls and cuddling with them certainly look pretty gross and ephebophiliaesque" — a term that refers to adults being attracted to teenagers.
"No way?" Trump wrote while amplifying the post from another user. In another post, he wrote, "That's not Ron, is it? He would never do such a thing!"
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There is no evidence the people in the image were "underage" or that DeSantis did anything sexual with them. However, a New York Times piece last year extensively documented how DeSantis, when he was working as a high school teacher in Georgia, frequently showed up to party with students, which — while it wasn't breaking any laws — made some people uncomfortable.
DeSantis, who was elected governor in 2018 with Trump's endorsement, has gradually fallen out of favor in his orbit as Republican consultants, donors, and media personalities have lined up behind him as a potential presidential candidate for 2024, which — if he were to declare a run — would make him a direct competitor to Trump's own bid to retake the White House.
Trump has already gone on offense against DeSantis, nicknaming him "Ron DeSanctimonious" and attacking him as a "RINO globalist." He has also refused to commit to supporting the Republican Party in 2024 if he fails to secure the nomination.