Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has reportedly advised his close allies to refrain from publicly weighing in on the controversy surrounding former President Donald Trump’s highly publicized dinner meeting with far-right influencer Nick Fuentes.
According to Rolling Stone, three individuals with inside knowledge of what is going on have shared details about DeSantis’ proposed approach to dealing with the debacle, which has led to deep bipartisan criticism of Trump.
In short, DeSantis believes it’s best to do the one thing Trump seems unable to do: remain silent.
“According to three people with knowledge of the directives, DeSantis’ lieutenants have told his allies not to attack Trump over the now-notorious dinner,” the news outlet reports. “Instead, the potential 2024 Republican primary candidate and his advisers have aimed to keep the focus on Trump’s decision to dine with Kanye West, a vocal anti-Semite, and Nick Fuentes, a white supremacist agitator.”
Dan Eberhart, a longtime Republican donor who heavily backed Trump’s presidential campaign, also weighed in with details about his conversations with the Florida governor’s team.
Like many other Republicans, Eberhart has distanced himself from Trump and is now in favor of DeSantis running for president in 2024. Speaking to Rolling Stone, he shed light on the perspective of DeSantis’ team.
“In ongoing discussions following his reelection, including this week, I’ve been asked to keep my powder dry,” said Eberhart. “My understanding is that the DeSantis team doesn’t see upside in kicking off the fight with Trump this early, even if it may be inevitable. Wading into the Fuentes fiasco just isn’t worth it for them. The media will harpoon Trump without Team DeSantis lifting a finger.”
According to Rolling Stone’s Asawin Suebsaeng, it appears DeSantis’ strategy is part of a bigger agenda.
“DeSantis’s calculated silence is in line with the Florida governor’s broader strategy for now in challenging — or, to be more precise, Suebsaeng wrote. “The twice-impeached former president, who announced his 2024 White House bid earlier this month, has taken to enthusiastically trashing DeSantis, going as far as to publicly threaten to air alleged dirt about his likely 2024 GOP primary opponent.”
He further noted that the Florida governor has made it a point to steer clear of the political squabbles Trump has a reputation of inciting. Suebsaeng added, “DeSantis, meanwhile, has generally declined Trump’s attempts to lure him into a very public mud fight.”