DeSantis acknowledges Trump’s 2020 election loss for 1st time

Miami, Aug 7 (EFE).- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former President Donald Trump’s main rival for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, for the first time on the weekend acknowledged that the ex-president lost the 2020 election and that Joe Biden “is the president,” a statement that was immediately responded to by spokesmen for his former political mentor.

DeSantis, who was backed by Trump and won the Florida gubernatorial race in 2018 and then was reelected by a wide majority in 2022, is now vying with the ex-president for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination although he remains almost 30 points behind Trump in the surveys of Republican primary voters.

“Whoever puts their hand on the Bible on 20 January every four years is the winner,” DeSantis said at first when asked whether Trump had lost the 2020 vote.

When pressed to answer “yes or no” to whether Trump lost the 2020 presidential election, DeSantis responded: “Of course he lost … Joe Biden’s the president.”

“Ron DeSantis should really stop being Joe Biden’s biggest cheerleader,” Trump spokesman Steve Cheung told NBC in response to DeSantis’s comments broadcast Sunday night.

DeSantis did offer support for Trump’s narrative, however, reiterating to NBC the former president’s claim that his expanding legal problems are due to political persecution by the Democratic administration, and he also said that the 2020 vote was not a “good-run election.”

“But I also think Republicans didn’t fight back,” DeSantis added. “You’ve got to fight back when that is happening.”

On Friday, at a campaign rally in Iowa, DeSantis had said that it’s been proven that the claim by Trump and many of his Republican supporters that the 2020 election was “stolen” by the Democrats does not correspond to the truth, but it was in the interview with NBC that the Sunshine State governor clearly said for the first time that Trump lost at the polls.

Last week, Trump was formally charged with several federal criminal crimes relating to the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the US Capitol by a mob of his supporters with the aim of preventing Congress from certifying Biden’s November 2020 election win.

Trump pleaded not guilty to all the charges, as he has done in the other two cases in which he has been indicted, one of them for removing from the White House and retaining classified documents after he left office in January 2021 and the other for his alleged accounting maneuvers to hide hush money payments to a porn star to buy her silence just before the 2016 election about an alleged affair they had had years before.

In his latest posts on his Truth Social social network, Trump has not commented on DeSantis’s remarks, but his spokesman Steve Cheung told NBC that the Florida governor is Biden’s “biggest cheerleader.”

In the past few hours, Trump wrote on Truth Social that special counsel Jack Smith – who is heading the investigations that have brought charges against the ex-president for the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol assault and classified documents cases – is “deranged” and claimed that he is attempting to take away Trump’s First Amendment rights to free speech by going before Federal Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing the Capitol assault case.

The former president also called for Chutkan’s recusal “on very powerful grounds” which he did not specify.

EFE –/bp

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