Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a once-loyal member of Donald Trump's court, is refusing to bend a knee to the former president and says backing him in the 2024 election 'is too much to ask' after Trump publicly attacked his character.
Trump allegedly branded popular governor as having 'no personal charisma' and a 'dull personality' as rumors swirl the ex-president is angry DeSantis hasn't declined to challenge him for the GOP presidential nomination.
DeSantis, however, has told his inner circle that Trump's 'expectation that he bend the knee is asking too much,' the New York Times reported.
The governor blasted back at Trump's criticisms, accusing the ex-president of being 'uncharacteristically out of step with the hard-line elements of his party’s base'.
Sources close to the former president who have recently talked to him about the governor said Trump has grown increasingly irked by DeSantis in recent months, with Trump beginning to voice his frustrations to those in his inner circle.
'In the context of the 2024 election, he usually gives DeSantis a pop in the nose in the middle of that type of conversation,' a source who recently spoke to Trump about DeSantis told Axios.
The president also claims 'there's no way' DeSantis would have ever been elected Florida governor without his support.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (left), a once-loyal member of Donald Trump's court, is refusing to bend a knee to the former president (right) and says backing him in the 2024 election 'is too much to ask'
The two are among the most popular Republican figures in the country, and with Trump eyeing another presidential run in 2024, many political pundits believe he is irritated by DeSantis' interest in running against him and his growing popularity.
Trump is said to be further annoyed that DeSantis won't say he will not run against the former president if he did opt to launch another White House bid.
'I wonder why the guy won’t say he won’t run against me,' Trump has questioned to several associates and advisers, according to the Times.
The former president hasn't actually announced his own bid, and isn't expected to do so until early next year.
Those close to the former president say they expect him to launch a second White House run - but also admit Trump may choose to act as a 'kingmaker' for the next presidential candidate instead.
The source, who was not named or identified, said they have heard Trump regularly criticize DeSantis on more than one occasion.
Just last week, Trump appeared to take direct aim at the governor in an interview last week when he called politicians who refuse to disclose their booster vaccination status as 'gutless'.
DeSantis shot back, saying his biggest regret in office is not having 'been much louder' in speaking out against Trump's coronavirus pandemic response.
Trump allegedly branded popular governor as having 'no personal charisma' and a 'dull personality' as rumors swirl the ex-president is angry DeSantis hasn't declined to challenge him for the GOP presidential nomination. The pair are pictured together