Trump hits DeSantis for payments to ‘non-entity’ conservative satire site The Babylon Bee
Former President Trump criticized Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for making several payments to the conservative satire site The Babylon Bee, adding to his growing attacks against the governor ahead of an expected rivalry for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
“Why is Ron DeSanctimonious paying The Babylon Bee, a non-entity, $5,000 a month, so far $21,500, if he’s not running for President?” Trump said in a Truth Social post, accompanied by a screenshot of the apparent payments to the satire site.
“Just because his Poll Numbers are tanking, probably because of his desire to cut Social Security and Medicare, doesn’t allow him to campaign without an announcement!” Trump continued. “You don’t spend that much money on The Babylon Bee if you’re running for Governor, in fact, you don’t spend money on The Babylon Bee if you’re running for anything!”
The accompanying screenshot, which did not include information to indicate its source or the date of the disbursements, shows four separate $5,000 payments and one $1,500 payment to The Babylon Bee. The Hill has reached out to DeSantis’s office for comment.
Florida campaign finance records show DeSantis’s campaign committee made three $5,000 payments and one $1,500 payment to The Babylon Bee for “advertising” and other “email services” for his 2022 gubernatorial campaign. The Miami Herald originally reported last April on payments from DeSantis to the site amid online fundraising for his campaign.
DeSantis’s spokeswoman at the time, Christina Pushaw, joined other conservatives poking at the Herald’s decision to describe The Babylon Bee as “fake news,” tweeting then, “Miami Bird Cage Liner is upset that satire website @TheBabylonBee is more popular than their fake news.”
Trump in recent months has continued to attack DeSantis, who is widely considered his biggest potential rival for the Republican nomination. DeSantis has signaled a decision on a 2024 bid is expected after the state’s legislative session wraps up in May.
A super PAC aligned with Trump filed a complaint with the Florida Commission on Ethics this week accusing DeSantis of waging a “shadow presidential campaign” given that he has yet to officially announce a bid.
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