Donald Trump, the de facto head of the Republican Party, just essentially declared war on Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis, who won re-election Tuesday in a strong showing, is presumed to be a potential 2024 presidential candidate. He would be battling Trump, whose top advisors say will announce his third run for the White House next week.
But all three Murdoch-owned outlets in the U.S. – Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post – have attacked Trump this week, blaming him directly for Republicans' historically poor performance in Tuesday's midterm elections.
Yes, Rupert Murdoch has turned on Trump. It's been years in the making. A quick thead: pic.twitter.com/oX6ZYSd4jF
— Sarah Ellison (@sarahellison) November 10, 2022
Fox News is embracing DeSantis.
Ron DeSantis is the new Republican Party leader https://t.co/21fJaCHJ8Q
— Fox News (@FoxNews) November 9, 2022
On his Truth Social platform, Trump Thursday evening unleashed a series of rants attacking "Governor Ron DeSanctimonious," ironically just hours after his former press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, specifically urged the two men to get along. "We're all on the same team" she said on Fox News.
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Trump also made a startling claim in his lengthy attack.
He says after the 2018 election, when ballots were being counted in Florida, he sent in the FBI and U.S Attorneys, "and the ballot theft immediately ended, just prior to them running out of the votes necessary to win."
Trump begins his attack by calling the midterms a "success," which would be true if he were a Democrat; President Biden had the best midterm performance in 40 years.
Trump blasts the Murdoch outlets, saying NewsCorp, their parent company, "is all in for Governor Ron DeSanctimonious, an average REPUBLICAN Governor with great Public Relations, who didn’t have to close up his State, but did, unlike other Republican Governors, whose overall numbers for a Republican, were just average—middle of the pack—including COVID, and who has the advantage of SUNSHINE, where people from badly run States up North would go no matter who the Governor was, just like I did!"
He then suggests he made DeSantis into a star.
"Ron came to me in desperate shape in 2017—he was politically dead, losing in a landslide to a very good Agriculture Commissioner, Adam Putnam, who was loaded up with cash and great poll numbers. Ron had low approval, bad polls, and no money, but he said that if I would Endorse him, he could win. I didn’t know Adam so I said, 'Let’s give it a shot, Ron.' When I Endorsed him, it was as though, to use a bad term, a nuclear weapon went off."
"I also fixed his campaign, which had completely fallen apart. I was all in for Ron, and he beat Gillum," Trump says.
Here's where his claim about directing the Dept. of Justice to stop "ballot theft" comes. Just days after the 2018 election, The New York Times reported there were several small claims of irregularities, but "experts say that no credible allegations of fraud have surfaced."
Trump continued: "after the Race, when votes were being stolen by the corrupt Election process in Broward County, and Ron was going down ten thousand votes a day, along with now-Senator Rick Scott, I sent in the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys, and the ballot theft immediately ended, just prior to them running out of the votes necessary to win. I stopped his Election from being stolen."
Ordinarily the President does not direct the Dept. of Justice, the FBI, or U.S. Attorneys to take any action.
"And now, Ron DeSanctimonious is playing games!" Trump cried. "The Fake News asks him if he’s going to run if President Trump runs, and he says, 'I’m only focused on the Governor’s race, I’m not looking into the future.' Well, in terms of loyalty and class, that’s really not the right answer."