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Former President Donald Trump and his allies are turning up the heat on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is preparing an ethics complaint against DeSantis as both potential presidential candidates have increased their political activity in recent weeks, setting the stage for a nasty primary fight between the former. —the president and his former protege—though DeSantis has flatly refused to criticize Trump or respond to his attacks.

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In Team Trump’s latest shot at DeSantis, MAGA Inc. The super PAC—founded by Trump allies—is planning to file a complaint with the Florida Commission on Ethics, accusing Florida’s governor of essentially running a shadow presidential campaign on Florida taxpayers’ money. DeSantis hits the road promoting his new book, Courage to be free.

draft complaint, First reported by NBC, DeSantis claims that the “personally lucrative book tour”, several newly formed pro-DeSantis PACs and many other “activities related to Governor DeSantis’ ascension to the national stage” are “illegal because they serve his personal political objectives.” ” , , At the expense of Florida taxpayers.

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Trump, who has coined the nickname “Ron DeSantimonius” to refer to his would-be rival, has launched a flurry of attacks on the Florida governor in recent weeks: Joe DeSantis’ state during a trip on Monday to Iowa. Came three days after doing it. , he highlighted DeSantis’ votes during his time in Congress in favor of reducing Medicare spending.

Trump referred to DeSanits as a “RINO,” or “Republican in name only,” and accused him of being “strongly opposed” to the ethanol industry, curtailing biofuel mandates that aided in corn ethanol production. Mentioned DeSantis’ vote in Congress to impeach. A The main issue For Iowa voters.

The attacks are likely to grow stronger as Trump operatives launch an aggressive opposition research campaign aimed at casting DeSantis as a liberal prosecutor during his time as assistant attorney general, with charges including child pornography Special attention has been given to his work around cases. political man informed of Wednesday.

According to Politico, Trump is also gearing up to criticize DeSantis’ personality, and draw a contrast between their campaign styles—DeSantis sticks to scripted speeches and policy talk, while Trump is notorious for his spontaneous rhetoric. and regularly make unannounced stops. campaign trail to interact with the public (in Davenport, he visited a restaurant and took photos with diners wearing “Trump Won” T-shirts, Washington Post informed of,

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In response to the complaint, DeSantis spokesman Taryn Fenske told MAGA Inc. has been accused of using "state morality for partisan purposes". She told NBC that it adds to a "list of frivolous and politically motivated attacks" Trump and his allies have launched against the governor of Florida, who has steered clear of publicly attacking Trump directly.

main background

Trump announced his campaign on the heels of unexpected GOP losses to his preferred candidates a week after the midterm elections in November, prompting public criticism of his influence from prominent Republicans. Meanwhile, DeSantis is widely expected to announce a bid for the 2024 GOP nomination, but is unlikely to do so before the conclusion of the Florida legislative session in May. Both have kept some parallel schedules in recent weeks. Prior to their Iowa visits, both men spoke at major Republican political gatherings held over the same weekend in late February (DeSantis at the Club for Growth's donor retreat and Trump at the Conservative Political Action Conference). A week before the events, they held a fundraising duel in Palm Beach within days of each other.

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Several former Trump allies, including Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) and former Representative Tom Marino, have endorsed DeSantis, along with the former president, who co-chaired Trump's 2016 campaign in Pennsylvania. Ken Cuccinelli, the former deputy secretary of Homeland Security under Trump, launched a super PAC earlier this month endorsing DeSantis. Other Trump allies, including Trump donor and solar energy entrepreneur Jim Lamon and former Trump 2020 fundraiser Roy Bailey, have teamed up with Florida's governor, who both allegedly attended A DeSantis Donor Retreat last month.

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Trump and his subordinates were also accused of using the White House to engage in volunteer political activity in violation of ethics laws, despite a complaint from MAGA Inc. The special counsel's office reported at least 13 Trump administration officials for violating anti-protectionist rules. Prohibited under the 1938 Hatch Act, ethics watchdog in Washington pointed out first for civic responsibility and ethics Forbes. The OSC recommended firing Kellyanne Conway, Trump's special counsel, after finding that she violated the law dozens of times, including disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while serving in her official capacity.

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Former South Carolina Gov. and ambassador to the United States under Trump, Nikki Haley, along with multimillionaire biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, are the only two other candidates who have announced bids for the 2024 GOP nomination. Former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Virginia Gov. Glen Youngkin, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu and Sen. Tim Scott (SC) have also indicated they are considering jumping into the race.


DeSantis and Trump have struck a similar tone on their opposition to US intervention in Russia's war in Ukraine. DeSantis broke with Republican leaders in the Senate and Congress over the weekend when he said US support for Ukraine was not a matter of "significant" national interest, calling the conflict "regional" in response to a question from Fox News host Tucker Carlson. describing it as "a dispute" that is detracting from more relevant domestic issues. Trump also trivialized the Russia–Ukraine war, telling an audience at CPAC that he would settle the dispute in "not more than a day", while renewing his embrace of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump said he would " Got along very well.” DeSantis' comments in particular drew the ire of prominent GOP supporters of US support for Ukraine, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R.S.C.), who told CNN "It doesn't matter to say that war crimes don't matter," adding that Putin's warm-up would spread "beyond Ukraine".

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