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Is the Media Manufacturing a Phony Rift Between Trump and DeSantis?

(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)

Donald Trump and Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) are “on a collision course,” according to a report from Vanity Fair. According to the report, DeSantis’s “claim to the MAGA mantle is facing its biggest test” in the wake of reports that DeSantis begged Trump not to hold a rally in Florida while the search for survivors in the Surfside condo collapse continues. DeSantis didn’t attend the rally but did appear with Joe Biden during his recent photo op in Florida.

“In recent days I spoke with a half dozen GOP insiders about the recent flare-ups between DeSantis’s and Trump’s camps,” MSNBC contributor Gabriel Sherman writes in Vanity Fair. “The sources agreed that DeSantis and Trump are on an inevitable collision course as the 2024 GOP field takes shape. ‘There’s going to be a blowup,’ a prominent Republican said. ‘Trump f—ing hates DeSantis. He just resents his popularity,’ a Trump confidant told me.”

I don’t know how many Trump confidants are actually speaking candidly to MSNBC contributors, but these claims don’t immediately pass the smell test. Sherman claims that Trump resents DeSantis’s popularity, citing a recent Western Conservative Summit straw poll that had DeSantis barely edging out Trump 74% to 71%—with a mere ten-vote difference. In February, at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Trump crushed the competition, DeSantis included, as the attendees’ preferred 2024 nominee, getting 55 percent of the straw poll vote, compared to DeSantis’s 21 percent.

I don’t think Trump is sweating the Western Conservative Summit straw poll. I really don’t.

The Hill also tried to join in on the Trump-DeSantis feud narrative, claiming, “DeSantis risks Trump backlash as his star rises.”

Related: ‘DeSantis Derangement Syndrome’ Infects the Media on the Road to 2024

Trump has repeatedly praised DeSantis in the past and even pitched him as a potential running mate in 2024 if he decides to run. If Trump were actually “threatened” by DeSantis, he wouldn’t be doing that. We all know Trump’s style. When he has a beef with someone, you know it. Just ask Mike Pence.

DeSantis’s camp has also disputed reports of a feud with Trump, along with rumors that DeSantis tried to get Trump to cancel his rally. “Contrary to inaccurate reporting based on anonymous sources, the governor never suggested canceling the event,” DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw said in a statement. “I’d also like to emphasize that there was never, at any time, a ‘plea’ from Gov. DeSantis or anyone on his team to cancel or postpone the rally. There was never a ‘feud’ either.'”

Trump himself explained why DeSantis wasn’t at his rally. “We mutually agreed, and I just thought he’s working very hard, he’s doing a very good job, and he should be there,” Trump told Newsmax. “I told him, ‘you should stay there; this is not that important for you.’ He of all people should be there.”

It seems obvious that the media is trying to create a rift between Trump and DeSantis, so, naturally, we need to ask ourselves why they are doing this. The answer is obvious. DeSantis is favored for the Republican nomination in 2024 if Trump doesn’t run, and the liberal media sees this alleged feud as a way to divide the GOP as they gear up to retake the White House in 2024.