Trump claims Ron DeSantis fired friend and top campaign official Phil Cox ... trends now
Donald Trump went on Truth Social on Saturday night to gloat over the 'firing' of a key member of staff working on rival Ron DeSantis' campaign.
Phil Cox had been seen as a core staffer during DeSantis' 2022 gubernatorial reelection team and was among the campaign's first hires.
Cox joined the team in March 2021 and served as the campaign's top big picture consultant throughout the duration of DeSantis' bid for governor.
More recently, he served as a senior adviser to the Never Back Down super PAC that supported the governor's bid for his 2024 presidency run - but on Saturday night it appeared he was no longer with the DeSantis campaign.
Trump wasted no time in suggesting his departure was a sign of his rival's failing campaign which officially launched on Wednesday.
Donald Trump (pictured arriving back in New York City on Saturday) gloated over the 'firing' of a key member of staff working on rival Ron DeSantis ' campaign.
Phil Cox held a crucial position within DeSantis' team for his 2022 gubernatorial re-election campaign, being among the initial hires served as a primary consultant
Former President Trump took to Truth Social to delight in the reported departure of Cox, a key member of Republican rival Ron DeSantis' campaign staff
'Ron DeSanctimonious just fired, like on 'The Apprentice,' his friend and top campaign official, Phil Cox, because his campaign is a complete disaster, and 2028 is looking really bad,' Trump began.
'His campaign manager, who so deftly handled the Ted Cruz campaign against me, wanted to work for me, but was turned down - a 'money grubber' like no other, and won't quit until he's got every last penny. Now 'Rob' must change the theme of his campaign from NEVER BACK DOWN to WINNING ISN'T EVERYTHING!' Trump wrote on Saturday night.
A reporter for Politico suggested Cox was in fact 'stepping down' rather than being fired - although the position at the Super PAC was a volunteer role and unpaid.
The timing of Cox's departure comes only days after he was spotted playing on one of Trump's golf courses.
Cox had joined DeSantis' team in March 2021 and had served as the campaign's top big picture consultant throughout the duration of his bid for Florida governor
Trump could be seen waving those gathered nearby Trump Tower
The former president was pictured walking into his residence in Trump Tower in Manhattan
Trump likes to occasionally bring up his Apprentice history and 'You're Fired' catchphrase - seen here in 2006
Cox took part in an LIV Golf tournament at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, alongside Trump, himself.
His appearance follows news that the consulting group GP3, of which Cox is a partner, also recently secured a deal with the Saudi-financed LIV tour.
Sources told ABC News the business relationship between Cox and the LIV tournament had ruffled feathers among staffers close to DeSantis and likely played a role in his leaving the DeSantis fold.
'I'm an unpaid, volunteer adviser to Never Back Down and proud to support Governor DeSantis,' Cox reaffirmed in a statement to ABC News on Thursday.
Cox did not actually play alongside Trump and hit the links several hours after Trump's own tee time.
His departure from the SuperPAC comes at the end of a week that saw DeSantis campaign launch being with beset disastrous tech problems.
The launch was due to take place on Wednesday at 6pm yet Twitter was unable to cope with the traffic, and the servers repeatedly crashed.
The event was initially