After DeSantis Breaks With Trump On Maria Death Toll, Trump Quietly Fumes

Alligator Ron Bergeron, back right, takes GOP Florida Gubernatorial Candidate Ron DeSantis, left, and some of DeSantis' staff on an airboat tour of the Florida Everglades as he and Bergeron discuss the historical and current critical restoration efforts taking place, on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. Bergeron is a former Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissioner and champion of the Florida Everglades. (Patrick Farrell/Miami Herald/TNS)
Miami Herald/Tribune News Service

President Donald Trump is privately fuming over Florida Republican gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis’s recent public statement on the loss of life in Puerto Rico, which the President views as a public betrayal, Politico reported.

According to people familiar with Trump’s thinking who spoke to Politico, while most Florida Republicans combatted Trump’s claims that “3,000 people did not die” in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria, the President is particularly vexed by DeSantis’s rebuke. In a statement last week DeSantis said he was “committed to standing with Puerto Rican community, especially after such a tragic loss of life” and said he “doesn’t believe any loss of life has been inflated.”

Trump reportedly thinks DeSantis is “politically indebted” to him, in Politico’s words, because Trump stubbed for him ahead of his primary election and DeSantis has since politically tethered himself to Trump’s agenda.

The fallout could become longterm. One person close to Trump called DeSantis’ public break with Trump a “divorce” and two GOP officials told Politico that Trump currently has no plans to travel to Florida to campaign for DeSantis.

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