Trump Floats 'Rumor' DeSantis Is Dropping Out Of The Republican Presidential Primary Race

DeSantis' camp denied Trump's claim and accused the former president of spreading "fake news."

It seems like Donald Trump was in the mood to gossip on Monday.

The former president used his platform Truth Social to share some “rumors” about Republican rival Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), not long before learning his Washington, D.C., trial is set to start the day before Super Tuesday primary voting.

“Rumors are strong in political circles that Ron DeSanctimonious, whose Presidential run is a shambles, and whose poll numbers have absolutely crashed, putting him 3rd and 4th in some states, will be dropping out of the Presidential race in order to run, in Florida, against Rick Scott for Senate. Now that’s an interesting one, isn’t it?” he posted.

DeSantis press secretary Bryan Griffin painted Trump’s rumor-mongering as a weak intimidation tactic, telling The Messenger, “They know this is a two-man race, and we will carry this on to a win in this presidential primary.”

Former President Donald Trump speaks to the media after being booked at the Fulton County jail in Atlanta, Georgia, on Thursday.
Former President Donald Trump speaks to the media after being booked at the Fulton County jail in Atlanta, Georgia, on Thursday.
Joe Raedle via Getty Images

“Instead of pushing fake news from New Jersey, the Trump campaign should be focused on getting their candidate on the campaign trail in Iowa and on the debate stage before it’s too late.”

While DeSantis’ poll numbers are still trailing behind Trump, his mild appearance at the first Republican presidential primary debate provided a small bump in support.

According to a poll from Emerson College released on Monday, DeSantis’ share of likely Republican voters inched up from 10% to 12% after.

Meanwhile, the number of likely voters supporting Trump dipped by 6% following his decision to skip the debate.

Additional August polls from Iowa, Florida, Pennsylvania and South Carolina each showed DeSantis is still technically Trump’s closest competition, at least by the numbers.

Primary campaigning could also be a logistically struggle for the politician, who will be juggling court dates in four separate criminal cases.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan set Trump’s Washington, D.C., trial date for March 4, 2024, just one day before voters in 15 states pick their primary candidate.

Trump’s legal team previously asked for the trial to start in April 2026, nearly 1 1/2 years after the next presidential election will be decided.

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