Donald Trump falsely claimed that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis opposes tariffs against China, creating a phony dispute between the two Republican leaders. The accusation came after DeSantis had already publicly stated that he supported the President’s tariffs against China.
In a tweet, Trump claimed that DeSantis was in opposition of his new tariffs and that he would “see how that works out for him.” In response, DeSantis’ office released a statement clarifying that he supported the tariffs, saying that he “looks forward to ensuring that Florida’s businesses and residents are better protected from unfair trade practices.”
Trump’s attempt to create a false conflict between himself and DeSantis is just the latest example of the President trying to strong-arm political figures who fail to toe his line. Additionally, it can indicate that Trump is concerned about DeSantis’ popularity and is looking for a way to diminish it.