Former President Donald Trump claims that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) cried as he begged for an endorsement ahead of his state’s 2018 gubernatorial primary.
“He was dead, he was leaving the race. He came over and he begged me, begged me for an endorsement,” Trump told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Thursday. “He said, ‘If you endorse me, I’ll win’ and there were tears coming down from his eyes.”
Trump has repeatedly told the story about how he plucked DeSantis from obscurity and propelled him to the governorship with that endorsement ― but the tears are a new addition to the tale.
Trump has worked tears into many of his other anecdotes over the years, especially in stories involving “tough guys” who had never cried until they were reduced to tears in his presence.
But those stories haven’t always been true.
He has mentioned, for example, that farmers and ranchers wept behind him as he spoke at a 2017 event.
Footage from that speech does not show any signs of tears.
The former president has repeatedly attacked DeSantis amid reports he may run against Trump for the GOP nomination for president in 2024. Trump has called him “disloyal” and threatened to reveal dirt on the governor.
But DeSantis was once a Trump acolyte, not only relying on the then-president’s endorsement but using his name heavily in his 2018 campaign, leading to one of the cycle’s strangest ads: