Team DeSantis 2024 keeps quiet over Trump’s dinner with Kanye, Fuentes – Rolling Stone

While Donald Trump faced with the fallout from dining with white supremacy and antisemites, Ron DeSantis and his team do what the former president can’t: keep quiet.

According to three people with knowledge of the directives, DeSantis’ lieutenants have told his allies not to attack Trump over the now-infamous dinner. Instead, the potential 2024 Republican primary nominee and his advisers have aimed to keep the focus on Trump’s decision to dine with Kanye West, a vocal anti-Semite, and Nick Fuentes, a white supremacist agitator.

“In ongoing discussions after his re-election, including this week, I’ve been told to keep my powder dry,” says Dan Eberhart, a longtime GOP donor — and former major Trump donor — recalling his conversations with Team DeSantis . (Eberhart is now endorsing DeSantis for 2024). “My understanding is that the DeSantis team doesn’t see the upside in starting the fight with Trump so early, even though it may be inevitable. Wading into the Fuentes fiasco just isn’t worth it to them. The media will harpoon Trump without Team DeSantis raises a finger.”

DeSantis’ calculated silence is consistent with the Florida governor’s broader strategy for now of challenging — or, to be more precise, does not challenging – Trump. The twice-impeached former president, who announced his 2024 White House bid earlier this month, has taken to enthusiastically trashing DeSantis, going so far as to publicly threaten to air alleged dirt on his likely 2024 GOP primary opponent . DeSantis, meanwhile, has generally dismissed Trump’s attempts to bait him into a very public mudslinging.

But DeSantis’ decision to remain silent comes at a time when some of Trump’s other potential 2024 challengers — including Trump’s former vice president Mike Pence and former secretary of state Mike Pompeo — have taken swipes at Trump over the dinner and dinner with Kanye, who is deep. in the anti-Semitism spewing phase of his career. The dinner quickly became one of the first major self-inflicted crises of Trump’s latest presidential campaign, and it has already prompted Team Trump to change its security and vetting procedures. During and after the dinner, some of the former president’s closest advisers were so in the dark about what Trump was doing that some resorted to simply asking reporters what they had heard.

“Did he really have dinner with the Nazi?” a prominent Trump adviser wrote to other Trump staffers after the Mar-a-Lago sit-down, according to a message reviewed by Rolling stones.

Even as a small number of GOP leaders, donors and Trump administration veterans have now condemned Trump’s now-infamous meeting, a far greater number of influential conservatives and Republican elected officials are still refusing to cross the former president and 2024 Republican front-runner.

Several longtime Trump staffers and confidantes have already scheduled meetings for December and January — “interventions,” as one describes it — to meet with the former president to try to counsel him on keeping his excesses to a minimum ahead of the primary season , according to two people familiar with the matter. (These excesses, of course, include befriending known anti-Semites and an avowed white nationalist.)

Two pro-Israel conservative Jewish mega-donors who generously supported Trump in 2016 and 2020 tell Rolling stones they have recently had various conversations with others in their elite circles about permanently dropping Trump or issuing joint statements strongly condemning his association with these anti-Semites and a fascist internet troll.

Both said they and others decided to do so simply because they believe Trump’s chances of becoming the GOP presidential nominee again are extremely high.

But when it comes to some of Trump’s most Jewish and pro-Israel supporters who have spoken out against the dinner, the former president has dropped names, as is his vicious habit. In the past few days, some pro-Trump Jews — including his former Israeli ambassador and bankruptcy attorney David Friedman — have appeared to publicly back away from him or condemn his latest actions, the former president privately responding with his typical rage and complaint. advisers that some of his top Jewish Conservative backers were “disloyal” after all he had done for them and for Israel, said a person with direct knowledge of the complaints and another source briefed on them.

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“He saw it as a stab in the back,” says the source with direct knowledge, later adding that they initially characterized Trump’s sentiments without meaning to refer to an anti-Semitic trope of the “stab in the back” myth. “[Former] President Trump believes he gave David everything and this is a classless way to pay him back.”

In the time since the details of the dinner became public information, Trump and his political operation have made several different attempts at damage control, largely settling on simply blaming rapper and on-again, off-again Trump supporter Kanye West for bring his new friend Fuentes to the meeting. “So I’m helping a seriously troubled man who happens to be black, Ye (Kanye West), who has been decimated in his business and pretty much everything else, and who has always been good to me, by granting his request for a meeting at Mar-a-Lago, alone, so I can give him some much needed ‘advice,'” Trump wrote on his Truth Social page Saturday. “He shows up with 3 people, two of whom I didn’t know, the other a political person I haven’t seen in years I told him you can’t run for office total waste of time he can’t win.

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