While the media have long talked about a wedge between Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump, the latter told Newsmax that their relationship remains "very good."
"I was very responsible for him getting elected, as you know, but I have a very good relationship with him," Trump told Monday's "Eric Bolling The Balance" in an exclusive phone interview, noting Trump helped get DeSantis elected governor in Florida when he was president.
There has been chatter among establishment Republicans that DeSantis might be the alternative if Trump ultimately does not run in 2024, if not the choice in a potential primary if Trump does run.
But Trump said he doubts that DeSantis has designs on the White House yet, particularly as he has his own 2022 Florida gubernatorial election to worry about.
"I don't know that he wants to run," Trump told Bolling. "Now, I have a good relationship with Ron. I don't know that he wants to run.
"We'll see what happens."
Trump has said in the past that DeSantis "would be very good" as a potential running mate in 2024, but he has also said he would win if DeSantis tried to primary him.
"Trump told me that he was 'very close to making a decision' about whether to run," The New Yorker's Dexter Filkins wrote this week.
"'I don't know if Ron is running, and I don't ask him,' [Trump] said. 'It's his prerogative. I think I would win.'"
Also, it was reported over the weekend that DeSantis' gubernatorial war chest has been getting big contributions from Trump's wealthiest donors — potentially a signal the supposed factions are actually more closely aligned going forward than being opposing forces.
As for himself, Trump still has not declared his 2024 campaign — citing what he called outdated and restrictive campaign finance laws — but he said he does not see any reason he would not run for president in 2024.
''I don't know if anything'' would keep me from running, Trump told Bolling. "We have to make our country great again. Our country's gone to hell, and it's gone bad very fast. Nobody thought it was possible it could go this bad this fast.
"Well, I have to say I love our country. I'll do what's right for the country."
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