Florida Governor Ron DeSantis directly rebuked former President Donald Trump in his strongest statement yet against his fellow candidate.
At a campaign event in Iowa, DeSantis reject Trump’s 2020 election-related claims, according to the New York Times.
“All those theories that were put out did not prove to be true,” DeSantis said to supporters.
“It was not an election that was conducted the way I think that we want to, but that’s different than saying [Venezuelan President Nicolás] Maduro stole votes or something like that,” he added. “Those theories, you know, proved to be unsubstantiated.”
It’s a markedly new approach for DeSantis, who had previously dodged questions about the ongoing claims that the 2020 election was “stolen” from Trump.
His comments come just a day after Trump was arraigned in the capital on federal charges related to his actions after losing the election.
However, DeSantis did not back down from his criticism of the Justice Department over its decision to charge Trump.
“As President, I will end the weaponization of government, replace the FBI Director, and ensure a single standard of justice for all Americans,” he said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
He also said, “Washington, D.C., is a ‘swamp’ and it is unfair to have to stand trial before a jury that is reflective of the swamp mentality,” echoing Trump’s own criticism.
“The latest Fake ‘case’ brought by Crooked Joe Biden & Deranged Jack Smith will hopefully be moved to an impartial Venue, such as the politically unbiased nearby State of West Virginia!” Trump wrote in a Truth Social post.
“IMPOSSIBLE to get a fair trial in Washington, D.C., which is over 95% anti-Trump, & for which I have called for a Federal TAKEOVER in order to bring our Capital back to Greatness,” he continued. “It is now a high crime embarrassment to our Nation and, indeed, the World. This Indictment is all about Election Interference!!!”