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- Trump’s team is accusing Gov. Ron DeSantis of running an unofficial 2024 campaign.
- In an email, the Trump campaign said DeSantis is engaging in “taxpayer-funded globetrotting.”
- The accusation comes after MAGA Inc., a Trump super PAC, filed an ethics complaint against DeSantis.
Former President Donald Trump’s team has launched a fresh attack on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, accusing him of “taxpayer-funded globetrotting.”
An email from the Trump campaign on Monday accused DeSantis of not formally declaring a 2024 run, and using his salary as governor to fund unofficial campaign travels.
“Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is currently on a month-long, taxpayer-funded presidential campaign schedule paid for by Florida taxpayers, and new questions are emerging as to whether this will force DeSantis to resign from office,” read the campaign’s email.
Under Florida’s “resign to run” law, candidates running for other offices must resign from their current post at least 10 days before running for the position they desire.
The Trump campaign email accused DeSantis of planning a countrywide tour this month, including stops in Georgia, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, Ohio, New Hampshire, Utah, Texas, and South Carolina.
The Trump campaign also said DeSantis is trying to go on international trips to “score some last-minute foreign policy credentials for his 2024 presidential campaign,” further accusing the governor of “taxpayer-funded globetrotting.”
The governor has plans to visit Japan in April, per the Yomiuri Shimbun, a Japanese news outlet. There are also plans for him to visit Israel, per the Associated Press.
“Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to campaign full-time for president, during the Florida legislative session, while collecting a salary and having the taxpayers pick up the costs for his travel and security. It’s a massive flip-flop from his position in 2018,” Trump spokesman Steven Cheung said in the email.
In the email, Cheung did not provide further evidence or substantiation to support his claim that tax dollars fund DeSantis’ overseas and domestic travels.
The Trump campaign’s fresh accusations come weeks after Florida Democrat Nikki Fried filed an ethics complaint against DeSantis. The March 27 complaint accused DeSantis of attending a $235,000 donor-funded retreat at the Four Seasons Palm Beach.
Separately, MAGA Inc. — a Trump-linked super PAC — filed an ethics complaint against DeSantis on March 14. This complaint accused DeSantis of soliciting and receiving “millions of dollars worth of illegal gifts in violation of Florida State ethics laws and the Florida Constitution,” per a copy of the document obtained by NBC News.
If DeSantis officially announces his 2024 bid, he will be Trump’s biggest rival for the GOP presidential ticket.
And while DeSantis has not officially announced a 2024 presidential run, he has been visiting cities around the US as part of a tour for his new book, “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival.” His book tour is widely regarded as a precursor to his presidential run.
Representatives for Trump and DeSantis did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment sent outside of regular business hours.