Former President Donald Trump is back on the attack against his chief Republican 2024 rival – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) – this time criticizing DeSantis for making payments to the conservative satire site The Babylon Bee.
Trump targeted DeSantis in a message that he posted to his social media site, Truth Social, on Friday.
The message reads:
Why is Ron DeSanctimonious paying The Babylon Bee, a non-entity, $5,000 a month, so far $21,500, if he’s not running for President? Just because his Poll Numbers are tanking, probably because of his desire to cut Social Security and Medicare, doesn’t allow him to campaign without an announcement! You don’t spend that much money on The Babylon Bee if you’re running for Governor, in fact, you don’t spend money on The Babylon Bee if you’re running for anything!
A missing detail
Trump, in his message, left out what might be a key detail about DeSantis’s arrangement with the Babylon Bee.
The Washington Examiner reports, “all of the payments from DeSantis were made between August 2021 and March 2022, before the governor was considering a run for president.”
“An April 2022 Miami Herald investigation showed DeSantis had made payments to the site for “services related to online fundraising, according to state campaign finance records,” the outlet adds.
These details would appear to undermine much of the criticism that Trump directs towards DeSantis in the message.
At the time of this writing, Trump has not issued a follow up message on the matter, and DeSantis has not responded to Trump’s criticism.
One question that you may have is, “what does Trump have against the Babylon Bee?”
For many years, the answer was “nothing.” The outlet, throughout Trump’s presidency, posted positive articles on Trump – it even defended Trump following the Capitol protest of Jan. 6, 2021.
But, according to the Examiner, things recently went south between Trump and the Babylon Bee, particularly after the midterm elections of 2022, when the outlet seemed to join in with those who blamed the Republicans’ lackluster results in the 2022 midterm elections on Trump. Since then, the Babylon Bee appears to have gotten on the DeSantis bandwagon.
This likely explains why it is that Trump is not happy with the Babylon Bee. But, Trump has not indicated as much. And so, to some extent this is all speculation.
But, there is little doubt about the fact that Trump is ramping up his attacks on DeSantis in view of a likely matchup in the 2024 Republican primary.