DeSantis says he won’t get involved with Trump’s potential indictment ‘in any way‘

Phil Sears/AP Photo

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday told reporters he won't get involved in Donald Trump’s potential extradition if the former president is indicted by the Manhattan district attorney.

In his first comments on Trump’s likely indictment, DeSantis said he only knew about “rumors” of a pending arrest of Trump related to an investigation into payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential election cycle.

“I have no interest in getting involved in some type of manufactured circus by some Soros DA,” said DeSantis, making a reference to billionaire donor George Soros’s support of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. “He’s trying to do a political spectacle … I’ve got real issues I’ve got to deal with here in the state of Florida.”

"We're not getting involved in it in any way,” he said.


Under Florida law, the governor can intervene in an extradition matter if it is contested. But Trump’s lawyers have told media outlets that the president would likely surrender if he is indeed indicted.

Trump announced on Saturday that he could be arrested as soon as Tuesday and called on supporters to protest the decision.

Over the last two days, Trump allies have repeatedly zinged DeSantis for failing to jump to Trump’s defense like other supporters of the president, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. They have urged him to use his power as governor since Trump is a Florida resident.

After DeSantis’ Monday news conference, Trump posted a broadside against DeSantis, writing on Truth Social that "Ron DeSanctimonious will probably find out about FALSE ACCUSATIONS & FAKE STORIES sometime in the future, as he gets older, wiser, and better known." His son, Donald Trump. Jr., also attacked DeSantis on Twitter after his press conference, calling the governor's response "pure weakness."

"Now we know why he was silent all weekend," Trump Jr. stated.

The only initial response over the weekend came from Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez after Florida Democratic Party chair Nikki Fried said on Twitter that “DeSantis awfully quiet about his kingmaker all of the sudden.” Nuñez responded a few hours later by telling Fried “if only you would be awfully quiet, Floridians would appreciate it.”

As a DeSantis 2024 candidacy seems more likely, Trump has ramped up his criticism of his one-time ally that he helped become governor with a crucial endorsement in 2018. Trump has characterized DeSantis as disloyal and even said he has regretted his endorsement. “Remember this: If it weren’t for me, Ron DeSanctimonious would right now be working probably at a law firm, or maybe a Pizza Hut, I don’t know,” Trump said last week, using the nickname he’s deployed.

DeSantis is expected to jump into the 2024 presidential race sometime after the annual Florida legislative session ends in May, setting himself up to be in direct competition with Trump.

Trump is currently connected to several ongoing investigations, including one over his handling of classified documents at his Florida home at Mar-a-Lago. When federal authorities seized documents from Trump’s estate, DeSantis was quick to sharply criticize the actions.

Bragg’s office appears poised to bring criminal charges against Trump due to payments made to Daniels.

Like other Republicans, DeSantis during a Monday press conference on new legislative initiatives sharply criticized Bragg. He said the prosecutor’s decision to investigate Trump instead of battling crime in New York City was an example of a “political agenda” that showed that Bragg was “weaponizing” his office.

“These Soros district attorneys are a menace to society,” he said, then noted that he suspended Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren from office. Warren is fighting the suspension in federal and state court. But DeSantis also drew some laughter from the crowd assembled for his Panama City press conference when he expressed puzzlement over the pending indictment.

“I don’t know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair,” DeSantis said.