You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Trump Allies Attack ‘RINO Backstabber’ DeSantis for Promoting Dominion Lawyer, Say He’s ‘Totally Disqualified’ from 2024 Run

Mediaite 2/8/2023 Sarah Rumpf
Donald Trump stands behind Ron DeSantis as he speaks at a rally © Provided by Mediaite Donald Trump stands behind Ron DeSantis as he speaks at a rally

AP Photo/Butch Dill, File.

Allies of former President Donald Trump have been bristling over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ maneuvers towards launching a challenge for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, and the governor’s promotion of a lawyer representing a major Trump foe has brought that irritation to the boiling point.

The 45th president is currently the only Republican to officially throw his hat in the ring for 2024, but DeSantis’ own White House ambitions are setting up a clash between the two. Trump’s endorsement of DeSantis in the 2018 Republican gubernatorial primary context was widely viewed as essential to propelling him ahead of then-Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, a former congressman with initially stronger name recognition and broad support in Florida GOP circles, and Trump has been increasingly vocal about bashing his former protege for the perceived disloyalty.

Events this week have ratcheted up the tensions. A report by Mediaite alumnus Zachary Petrizzo at The Daily Beast laid out the controversy that erupted after a “Panel Discussion on Defamation” DeSantis hosted on Tuesday with several lawyers and other commentators advocating for making it easier to sue media companies.

One of the panelists was Elizabeth “Libby” Locke, who has represented Sarah Palin and Project Veritas against The New York Times — and is also representing Dominion Voting Systems regarding their defamation claims against MAGAworld denizens like Rudy Giuliani and pillowmonger Mike Lindell for pushing Trump’s baseless accusations that the company had rigged the 2020 election for Joe Biden.

During the panel event, DeSantis described Locke as “an extraordinaire when it comes to First Amendment defamation,” and Trump’s allies howled with outrage in response.

DeSantis was “showing his true colors!” tweeted Lindell.

Lindell went on Steve Bannon’s podcast to declare that the Florida governor was now “totally disqualified” from running in 2024 because he had allied himself with Dominion. “The damage is done, you sat with them, they have tried to destroy our country, and now you’re done,” said Lindell. “The best thing he can do, is endorse Donald Trump tomorrow morning — he should just do it today.” He also urged the “big donors” backing DeSantis to abandon him, calling out the Koch Brothers network, calling them “disgusting.”

Lindell made similar comments in a phone interview with Petrizzo, calling Locke’s inclusion in the panel “disgusting,” and blasting the lawyer as “a liar.”

“DeSantis being in cahoots with a Dominion lawyer has outraged the people of the United States,” said Lindell, adding that “DeSantis lost any chance of running” and calling on the governor to “endorse Donald Trump right now.”

Joseph McBride, a Trump-allied lawyer representing several of the Jan. 6 defendants, similarly declared that DeSantis “destroyed” his 2024 prospects when he “gave Dominion a seat at the table,” calling it “a thumb in the eye” attacking Trump.

“I think it’s his way of saying all that election stuff was nonsense, and ‘This is my way of passive-aggressively saying that I think that the election was without any hiccups,’” McBride told Petrizzo.

Stop the Steal organizer Ali Alexander (formerly known as Ali Akbar) claimed that DeSantis “isn’t just trolling Trump,” but was also trolling the former president’s supporters by promoting the Dominion attorney “[i]n front of the word ‘Truth’ using the same font as Truth Social,” Trump’s own social media platform.

(For the record, the logos have similar looks in that they both use the word “TRUTH” in an all caps sans serif font, but the Truth Social logo does have several noticeable differences, including a line through the first T and a square green period.)

Failed congressional candidate Laura Loomer also ranted about DeSantis’ panel, calling it “truly sickening” and retweeting Alexander’s tweet with the comment that it was “[b]ad taste to mock Truth Social, which was created as a voice for the banned. In another tweet, Loomer bashed DeSantis and his wife Casey DeSantis as “social climbers who will NEVER be Donald and Melania Trump” and called the governor “a low class wannabe Trump & RINO backstabber who used the Trump family & MAGA base” who will “never have what it takes to be ICONIC like Trump.”

As for DeSantis, he’s remained mum on the pushback from Trump allies, as he has for most of the criticism lobbed his way by the ex-president, and his representatives declined to comment for the Daily Beast article.

The feud seems likely to continue escalating, however, with Trump now sharing memes accusing DeSantis of “grooming high school girls with alcohol as a teacher” — and DeSantis firing back on Wednesday that he doesn’t “spend my time trying to smear other Republicans.”

The post Trump Allies Attack ‘RINO Backstabber’ DeSantis for Promoting Dominion Lawyer, Say He’s ‘Totally Disqualified’ from 2024 Run first appeared on Mediaite.
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon