Former President Donald Trump took aim at Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis on Monday after the governor addressed reports that progressive Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is intending to charge the former president. In his comments, DeSantis slammed the George Soros-funded D.A. for “weaponizing” the justice system, while also quipping about the alleged “hush money” Trump paid to porn actress Stormy Daniels.
The back and forth comes as political tensions have risen across the country after Trump claimed over the weekend that he was going to be “arrested on Tuesday” over an alleged $130,000 payment made to Daniels during the 2016 presidential election. A spokesperson for Trump later said that the former president has been given “no notification” on any specifics about the D.A.’s plans.
“Ron DeSanctimonious will probably find out about FALSE ACCUSATIONS & FAKE STORIES sometime in the future, as he gets older, wiser, and better known, when he’s unfairly and illegally attacked by a woman, even classmates that are ‘underage’ (or possibly a man!),” Trump wrote on social media. “I’m sure he will want to fight these misfits just like I do!”
Trump included a screenshot from a leftist organization that wrote a hit piece on DeSantis which Trump previously used to promote baseless claims that DeSantis had groomed underage girls with alcohol. DeSantis responded by saying he faces “defamatory stuff every single day” and that he chooses to spend his time “delivering results for the people of Florida and fighting against Joe Biden,” not “trying to smear other Republicans.”
Trump deleted his previous swing at DeSantis and replaced with a post that goes even further — pic.twitter.com/lKJlp76jg4
— Meridith McGraw (@meridithmcgraw) March 20, 2023
Trump’s comments followed a DeSantis press conference Monday in which the governor partly defended the former president when a reporter asked him about the situation.
“I do know this, the Manhattan district attorney is a Soros-funded prosecutor. And so he, like other Soros-funded prosecutors, they weaponize their office to impose a political agenda on society at the expense of the rule of law and public safety,” DeSantis said. “He has downgraded over 50% of the felonies to misdemeanors, he says he doesn’t want to even have jail time for the vast, vast majority of crimes. And what we’ve seen in Manhattan is we’ve seen the crime rate go up, and we’ve seen citizens become less safe.”
DeSantis said Bragg was “weaponizing” the justice system by choosing to pursue the case from several years ago while “ignoring crimes happening every single day in his jurisdiction.”
“And I think that that’s fundamentally wrong,” DeSantis said. “I also think it’s important to point out when you’re talking about these Soros-funded prosecutors, yes, they may do a high profile politicized prosecution. And that’s bad.”
DeSantis, who has been increasingly under fire from the former president as he weighs entering the 2024 presidential race, and was recently targeted by a Trump-supporting super PAC with an ethics complaint that sought to remove DeSantis from office, then took an apparent swipe at Trump, remarking, “I don’t know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair, I can’t speak to that.”
“The real victims are ordinary New Yorkers, ordinary Americans and all these different jurisdictions that they get victimized every day because of the reckless political agenda that the Soros DAs bring to their job,” DeSantis said. “They ignore crime, and they empower criminals. And that hurts people, hurts a lot of people every single day. These Soros district attorneys are a menace to society. And I’m just glad that I’m the only governor in the country that’s actually removed one from office during my tenure.”
“We are not involved in this, won’t be involved in this. I have no interest in getting involved in some type of manufactured circus by some Soros DA, okay. He’s trying to do a political spectacle. He’s trying to virtue signal for his base. I’ve got real issues I got to deal with here in the state of Florida, we’re obviously shutting down CBDC, which is important,” DeSantis concluded. “We’ve got so many things pending in front of the legislature. I’ve got to spend my time on issues that actually matter to people. I can’t spend my time worrying about things or things of that nature. So, we’re not going to be involved in it in any way. I’m fighting for Floridians and I’m fighting back against Biden. That’s what I do every single day.”
DeSantis comes out swinging against the “weaponized” Soros DA pursuing politically-motivated charges against Trump. pic.twitter.com/BdpQmOY5JE
— Marina Medvin 🇺🇸 (@MarinaMedvin) March 20, 2023
According to Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk, sources close to DeSantis confirmed that the governor “will not aid Bragg if he indicts Trump,” and stressed that the governor “believes this is an unprecedented, politically motivated prosecution of a former president.”
DeSantis’ comments followed a similar denunciation of Bragg by Mike Pence, another potential 2024 presidential candidate.
“I’m taken aback at the idea of indicting a former President of the United States, at a time when there’s a crime wave in New York City, that — the fact that the Manhattan DA thinks that indicting President Trump is his top priority, I think is, just tells you everything you need to know about the radical Left in this country,” Pence told ABC’s Jonathan Karl.
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