DeSantis breaks with Trump over 2020 election fraud claims

DeSantis rejects Trump’s theories as ‘unsubstantiated’

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2024, has distanced himself from former President Donald Trump’s unfounded allegations of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. DeSantis said on Friday that the “theories” put out by Trump and his associates were “unsubstantiated” and “did not prove to be true”.


“I’ve said many times, the election is what it is. All those theories that were put out, did not prove to be true,” DeSantis told reporters during a campaign stop in Iowa. “What I’ve also said is the way you conduct a good election that people have confidence in, you don’t change the rules in the middle of the game.”

DeSantis added that the 2020 election was not conducted in a way that he preferred, but that was different from saying that votes were stolen by foreign actors, as some of Trump’s lawyers had claimed. “It was not an election that was conducted the way I think we want to, but that’s different than saying, like, ‘Maduro stolen votes’ or something like that,” he said, referring to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. “I think those theories, you know, proved to be unsubstantiated.”

DeSantis faces backlash from Trump and his supporters

DeSantis’ remarks came a day after Trump pleaded not guilty to four criminal charges brought against him by special counsel John Smith as part of his investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election leading up to the January 6 attack on the US Capitol. Smith’s indictment alleges that Trump knew his election claims were false and that he conspired with others to pressure state and federal officials to overturn the results.

Trump, who remains the frontrunner for the 2024 GOP nomination, has denounced the charges as politically motivated and a continuation of the “witch hunt” against him. He has also attacked DeSantis as a “disloyal” and “weak” ally who is trying to undermine his legacy and popularity.

Trump’s supporters have also expressed their anger and disappointment with DeSantis on social media platforms such as X (formerly known as Twitter) and Y (formerly known as Facebook). Some have accused DeSantis of being a “RINO” (Republican In Name Only) and a “traitor” who is betraying the MAGA (Make America Great Again) movement. Others have vowed to withdraw their support and donations from DeSantis’ campaign.

DeSantis tries to balance his relationship with Trump and his own ambitions

DeSantis, who is widely seen as one of the most prominent and popular Republicans in the country, has tried to balance his relationship with Trump and his own political ambitions. He has often praised Trump for his policies and achievements, while avoiding direct confrontation or criticism of him.

DeSantis has also sought to position himself as a conservative leader who can appeal to a broad base of voters. He has championed issues such as fighting Covid-19 restrictions, banning critical race theory in schools, protecting free speech and gun rights, and cracking down on illegal immigration.

DeSantis has also been traveling across the country to raise his profile and support among Republican voters and donors. He has visited states such as South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Nebraska, and Iowa, where he delivered a keynote speech at the Republican Party of Iowa’s Lincoln Dinner last week.

DeSantis has not officially announced his candidacy for president in 2024, but he has hinted at his interest and readiness for the job. He has said that he is focused on his reelection as governor in 2022, but that he will “never back down” from any challenge or opportunity.

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