Trump says DeSantis endorsement was ‘nuclear weapon,’ could be working in a pizza parlor without it

DAVENPORT, IOWA – MARCH 13: Former President Donald Trump speaks to guests gathered for an event at the Adler Theatre on March 13, 2023 in Davenport, Iowa. Trump’s visit follows those by potential challengers for the GOP presidential nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who hosted events in the state last week.

Former President Donald Trump recounted in a new interview Monday how Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) asked him to back him in 2018, saying that his endorsement was like a “nuclear weapon.”

Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity in an interview that aired Monday night that “it was like a nuclear weapon went off” after he endorsed DeSantis in his 2018 gubernatorial primary race.

He said that DeSantis came to him “with tears in his eyes” to ask for the former president’s endorsement, promoting that he will win if Trump backed him.

Trump said that since DeSantis defended him during his impeachment trials during his presidency, he would “give it a shot.” He claimed he asked DeSantis to write out what he wanted Trump to say in his endorsement, but Trump changed the writing to make it

“I said, ‘You write out what you’d like and let me see it.’ He wrote it out. I thought it was terrible. I changed it, made it great, and I gave him a great endorsement. From the moment I press that button, he blew the guy away. The race was over,” Trump said.

Trump added that DeSantis could be working in a pizza parlor or a law office if it was not for his endorsement, saying that he could never have gotten the nomination if it wasn’t for him.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R)

This is not the first time Trump has shared his account of how he endorsed DeSantis in 2018. Over the weekend, he also said that the governor came to him “with tears in his eyes” to ask for an endorsement and mocked DeSantis asking him for his support.

Trump also said earlier this month that he “probably” regrets endorsing DeSantis in the 2018 race.

The Hill reached out to DeSantis’ office for comment.


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