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Senate Republicans Push Back on Trump’s Attacks on DeSantis

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Several top Republican Senators pushed back against former President Donald Trump’s attacks on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Wednesday. Earlier in the week Trump declared DeSantis running against him would be “very disloyal.”

“So then when I hear he might run, you know, I consider that very disloyal,” Trump told reporters on board his plane this week, reported CNN. “But, it’s not about loyalty — to me it is, it’s always about loyalty. But for a lot of people, it’s not about that.”

Trump stepped up those attacks on Wednesday, writing on his Truth Social platform, “The real Ron is a RINO GLOBALIST, who closed quickly down Florida and even its beaches. Loved the Vaccines and wasted big money on ‘Testing.’ How quickly people forget!”

The Hill asked Texas Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) what he thought of that suggestion.

“Cornyn barely stifled a laugh when asked about Trump’s assertion that DeSantis would commit a great act of disloyalty by running against him,” the Hill’s Alexander Bolton wrote.

“No, no, I don’t think so,” Cornyn replied.

“He ran an impressive reelection campaign for governor from an important state. It looks to me like he’s polling well. I think we need some new blood and I think he’d probably qualify,” Cornyn added, offering praise for DeSantis.

The Hill also spoke to Wyoming’s Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), who said, “I expect to see a number of Republican candidates for president and a number of them had President Trump’s endorsement so I don’t see it as an act of disloyalty to run for president, even people on the president’s cabinet may get in this race.”

“So, it’s not a matter of disloyalty,” Lummis added. “The person who best articulates a future agenda for the country will emerge from the Republican primary and it’s not a foregone conclusion who that will be.”

Senate GOP Whip John Thune (R-SD) struck a similar tone saying Trump’s comments are “going to be between the two of them” and noted “if people feel compelled or called to run for [president] that’s their prerogative, it’s a free country.”

Bolton also spoke with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who said “anybody can run” and Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) who called Trump having primary competition “healthy.”

Rounds added that he knows “lots of folks considering the race” and said any accusations of disloyalty from Trump toward DeSantis are for the governor to address. “Gov. DeSantis can speak for himself in that regard,” Rounds concluded.

To date, Trump’s support in Congress has been very thin for a former president and the de facto leader of his party. However, Ohio Sen. JD Vance (R-OH) and Missouri’s Eric Schmidt (R-MO) gave Trump a boost this week by joining Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) in officially endorsing his 2024 bid.

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