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Trump on possible DeSantis 2024 presidential challenge: 'We'll handle that the way I handle things'

Trump also claimed credit for getting DeSantis elected as governor in 2018.

Published: January 18, 2023 7:01am

Updated: January 18, 2023 10:36am

Former President Trump says if Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis decides to challenge him for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, "We'll handle that the way I handle things."

Though DeSantis has not announced a candidacy, Trump said Monday on "The Water Cooler" show on the Real America's Voice network: "So now I hear he might want to run against me. So we'll handle that the way I handle things."

Trump, who is in his third campaign for the White House, also claimed credit, as he has several times previously, for getting DeSantis elected as governor in 2018.

"I got him elected, pure and simple," Trump told show host David Brody.

Trump also provided an explanation about why he endorsed DeSantis, saying he was at the time "one of about 100 congressmen" who supported him during special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of the Trump campaign's since-disproven collusion with Russia.

Said Trump: "I felt I might as well endorse him because I didn't know Adam Putnam," who was DeSantis' biggest primary challenge at the time.

It is unclear how Trump would "handle" a possible challenge from DeSantis, whom he has nicknamed "Ron DeSanctimonious." 

Hypothetical 2024 election polls have shown Trump and DeSantis winning

A University of Massachusetts Amherst poll earlier this month showed Trump ahead of DeSantis in the GOP primary at 37% to 34%. A WPA Intelligence survey released last week found that Trump would lose against President Joe Biden in the 2024 general election while DeSantis would beat Biden.

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