Trump shares photos of DeSantis claiming he partied and drank with high school girls when he was a teacher
Trump reshared a 20-year-old photo of DeSantis appearing to be posing with young high school grads.
The original poster accused DeSantis of using alcohol to “groom” high school girls.
Trump is ramping up his attacks on the Florida governor who may be challenging him for the 2024 GOP nomination.
Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday released a photo of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis accusing him of drinking with underage people when he was a high school teacher.
“It’s not Ron, is it? He would never do such a thing!” Trump wrote sarcastically on his social media app Truth Social.
The image shows a 23-year-old DeSantis smiling between three blurred-faced women whose ages are not clear. One of the women in the photos is holding a brown glass bottle, but DeSantis is not pictured drinking. However, the caption reads, “This is Ron DeSantimonious, a teacher nursing high school girls with alcohol,” followed by the vomit emoji.
The original message Trump re-shared came from a user named Dong-Chan Lee, whose Truth Social describes him as a “paleoconservative” and a Trump supporter.
The origin of the photo is Hill Reporter, a Democratic super PAC blog. The New York Times reported in November that the photo was taken after the 2001-2002 school year, which DeSantis spent teaching at the elite Darlington School before attending Harvard Law School.
Darlington is a boarding school in Rome, Georgia where DeSantis coached baseball and football and taught history and government.
Several students recalled DeSantis going to parties with the seniors, the New York Times said, citing anonymous sources. Two students recalled that DeSantis attended two parties where alcohol was served, although they said it was after graduation. They reported that they didn’t bother at the time, although they now question it, the report said.
“It was his first job outside of Yale, he was cute. We didn’t really think much about it,” said one of the former students.
Before the gubernatorial election, Trump nicknamed DeSantis “DeSanctimonious” and said he thought it “disloyal” that the governor was leaving the issue of the presidential nomination open, since Trump’s 2018 gubernatorial election helped him win the GOP nomination.
The “grooming” allegation was intended as a hypocritical attack on DeSantis, whose staff have accused those who oppose his controversial critics of the “Don’t Say Gay” sex education law of “grooming.” The term “grooming” typically refers to pedophiles attempting to gain the trust of their underage victims into accepting sexual assault without telling an adult.
Trump, who doesn’t drink alcohol, has been accused of sexual misconduct by at least 26 different women. He has denied all allegations.
Trump famously taunted his opponents with vicious nicknames during the 2016 presidential election. He’s now running for the 2024 GOP nomination. No one has officially jumped into the field yet, but DeSantis has consistently ranked second to Trump in polls.
On Monday, the conservative think tank Club for Growth, which has a PAC and a super PAC arm, released a poll predicting DeSantis could do even better. It turns out the governor held a nine-point lead in a hypothetical 2024 matchup against Trump.
But it’s not clear why Trump attacked DeSantis Tuesday afternoon, and his campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request from insiders.
Trump often shares his thoughts unfiltered on social media, making headlines and distracting from other news. On Tuesday night, President Joe Biden will deliver his State of the Union address and Trump plans to provide live analysis via Truth Social, he said.
Earlier in the day, DeSantis held a defamation law event where he praised a conservative attorney who represented Dominion Voting Machines in its defamation lawsuit against Trump ally Mike Lindell. The MyPillow CEO lashed out at DeSantis on Twitter, but Trump himself made no mention of the roundtable.
Instead, Trump reposted the photo of DeSantis and ripped into the governor on other unrelated matters. They included a screenshot of a Tampa Bay Times story in which DeSantis said he was “glad” violent Trump protesters had been arrested after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
He also attacked DeSantis for voting with a majority of members of the House of Representatives against a bill to fund his border wall when he was a congressman in 2018. The bill contained amnesty provisions and met with conservative opposition.
Reached by insiders, the governor’s political team refused to respond to the Trump attacks.
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