“I think he’s an asshole,” Trott added in a phone interview. «I don’t think he cares about people.»
Former President Donald Trump announced his bid to recapture the White House last November, while DeSantis, widely seen as the former president’s most formidable challenger for the Republican nomination, has spent months trying to burnish his national image with a book tour and visits. to the first primary states. .
But despite DeSantis serving three terms in Congress, it is Trump who has beaten the Florida governor, as Republican lawmakers, including a parade of them from DeSantis’s state, have lined up behind Trump in recent days and weeks.
Trott elaborated on his interactions, or lack thereof, with DeSantis during their time together in Congress:
«I’m going to my first [House Foreign Affairs Committee] listening early, and DeSantis showed up right at the time of the hammer and didn’t say hello or introduce himself,» he said. “And then at the next hearing, the same thing happened. I think the third time it happened, I was like, ‘Oh, this guy is never going to say hello to me.
A spokesman for the governor declined to comment on Trott’s comments.
Perhaps nowhere has the contrast between Trump and DeSantis been more stark than within the Florida congressional delegation. While the Florida governor made a highly anticipated trip to Washington this week, Trump received a wave of support from Sunshine State lawmakers.
Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.), who announced Monday night that he would endorse Trump for the Republican nomination, said he has had a difficult time connecting with the governor of his home state.
“There were multiple opportunities where I talked to him and gave him my cell phone number and asked him to contact me,” Steube said in an interview Friday on Fox News. “There were events in my district where they told me I couldn’t be a part of the press conference, they told me to stand in the corner and they didn’t allow me to participate in that when he was in my district. You can’t win friends and influence people that way, especially in the political arena.»
In an interview with Playbook earlier this week, Steube recalled that Trump was the first person to call after the lawmaker suffered major injuries that landed him in ICU after a tree-trimming accident earlier this year. “To this day, I have not heard from Governor DeSantis,” Steube said.
Freshman Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) also praised Trump’s personal touch when interacting with the Florida delegation. In an interview with The New York Times, she recalled receiving a personal note from Trump after his father’s death in January 2022. Another letter did not come from Governor Ron DeSantis, but from his wife, Casey DeSantis. .
“The Trump operation is personal,” Luna, another Trump supporter, told the Times. «You take the time to really get to know the people you’re going to be working with and that makes all the difference.»
Trott, for his part, said DeSantis has the «ability to gauge the electorate and figure out what hot buttons and issues he needs to push to advance his political ambitions.» But Trott also called the governor «just a very arrogant guy» who is «very focused on Ron DeSantis.»
“He was not well liked when he was in Congress. And now he’s coming home to, you know, show that some members of the Florida delegation backed Trump and some of the donors, you know, think he’s a little awkward in terms of how he interacts with them,» Trott said. “If his pre-presidential campaign was playing out differently, then he’d say, ‘Well, maybe he just didn’t like me.’ But I think there’s something else at play here.»
Kierra Frazier contributed to this report.