Former US president Donald Trump has volleyed fresh accusations against rival Ron DeSantis, showing photos of the Florida Governor partying with teenage girls when he was a teacher at their school. He accused his rival for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination of drinking alcohol with minors.
Taking on Truth Social, Trump wrote sarcastically "That's not Ron, is it? He would never do such a thing!" He based his allegations on a story published by Hillreporter.com, a far-right website, that claimed that DeSantis had been photographed partying with the underage students at the Darlington School where the Governor taught from 2001-02.
The image showed DeSantis flanked by three young women. It had a caption "Here is Ron DeSanctimonious grooming high school girls with alcohol as a teacher." The original photo and message was from a user named Dong-Chan Lee, who describes himself as a paleoconservative and Trump supporter on Truth Social.
Trump considers DeSantis running for president as "very disloyal". The former president repeatedly claimed that he is responsible for DeSantis' political success.
Trump dubbed DeSantis "Ron DeSanctimonious" during a rally in November and blasted him as average on social media. He has never left a chance to throw insults at his rival, branded him a "globalist" and Republican in name only.
Now, the former president has come up with fresh attacks with photo-evidence. "Ron DeSantis was having a 'drink' party with his students when he was a high school teacher. Having drinks with underage girls and cuddling with them certainly look (sic) pretty gross and ephebophiliaesque," he posted.
The latest round of attacks hasn't gone down well with Twitter users. One such user believes Donald Trump is now sharing false conspiracies of DeSantis being a pedophile first invented by the Gillum campaign.
Users also started rolling out memes.
Leads by 9 percent
The Florida governor, according to a poll released Monday by the Club for Growth, is leading Trump by 9 percentage points in a hypothetical head-to-head primary match-up. Trump came in first, with 37 percent and DeSantis came in second with 33 percent, when the poll added the former Vice President Mike Pence, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Virgina Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
But there was no bitterness or rivalry in 2018 during DeSantis' primary campaign, when an endorsement from Trump helped him win the nomination. There was even a viral ad that featured DeSantis and his family highlighting allegiance to Donald Trump.