Former President Donald Trump has warned Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis against running in the 2024 US presidential election, saying it would hurt the Republican Party.
“I think he (DeSantis) is going to make a mistake,” the former Fox News chief told Fox. “I think the (party’s) base wouldn’t like it.”
Trump also threatened to release information about the 44-year-old politician, without providing details.
Trump’s comments came ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections. Expectations indicate that de Santis was re-elected as governor of Florida.
Trump and DeSantis believe they want to win the Republican nomination.
“I don’t know if he’s going to run,” Trump told Fox. “I think if he’s running, he could hurt himself really badly. I really think he could hurt himself really badly.”
“I don’t think it would be in the party’s interest,” he added.
Trump stressed that if de Santis announced his candidacy for the presidency, he would reveal “things about him that wouldn’t be very good.”
“I know more about him than anyone, perhaps other than his wife,” he said.
He did not provide details of the nature of the information he knew, but he had previously made threats to disclose harmful information about his competitors.
He later described his potential opponent as a “good guy” and denied there was a rift between them. “He’s not in a fight with me, and I’m leading in the polls,” Trump said.
De Santis is a relative newcomer to politics but rose to prominence after becoming Florida’s governor in 2019. He has positioned himself as an ardent champion of conservatism.
De Santis is expected to defeat Democratic rival Charlie Crist to continue as Florida governor, according to CBS News, the BBC’s US partner.
Trump, a Florida resident, told reporters outside a polling station earlier on Tuesday that he voted for DeSantis.
De Santis has remained silent about a possible presidential bid, but speculation remains.
Meanwhile, Trump said on Monday he would make a “very important announcement on November 15th.”
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