Florida Governor Ron DeSantis faced a setback in his 2024 presidential campaign as top figures from the America First movement, including Mike Cernovich, withdrew their support. The controversy arose when Darren Beattie, a former Trump White House official, shared a clip of DeSantis discussing the Russia investigation conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. In the clip, DeSantis questioned the sophistication of Russia’s alleged interference but acknowledged the credibility of the House Intelligence Committee report. Beattie asked if DeSantis still stood by his remarks.
In response, DeSantis’s press secretary Jeremy Redfern attacked Beattie, accusing him of dishonesty. This exchange triggered a Twitter war involving various right-wing personalities, with Cernovich pressing for a clear stance from DeSantis. The campaign’s “War Room” account shared another clip in which DeSantis clarified his position, emphasizing that he did not believe in Trump-Russia collusion or that it impacted the election.
Amid the heated exchanges, DeSantis’s team highlighted his involvement in writing the House Intelligence Committee report. However, the infighting continued, and personal attacks were exchanged between DeSantis’s team and Cernovich and Beattie. In response to the escalating tension, Cernovich withdrew his previous support for DeSantis’s presidential bid, expressing disavowal of his previous sentiments.
This recent controversy adds to the challenging headlines and polling trends that indicate DeSantis’s campaign has hit a stumbling block since entering the 2024 Republican presidential field. As the infighting within the conservative movement intensifies, it remains to be seen how this will impact DeSantis’s political future and his prospects in the upcoming presidential race.