Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis pushed back against a media report that he asked former President Donald Trump to cancel a planned Florida rally while search and rescue efforts continue at Surfside.
“There was never, at any time, a ‘plea’ from Gov. DeSantis or anyone on his team to cancel or postpone the rally,” Christina Pushaw, the governor’s press secretary told Fox News. “This confusion could have been cleared up very easily – and I believe it has been, with our unequivocal statements on the record.”
Pushaw insists that the governor’s office was not given enough time to respond to the claim, leading to an “inaccurate headline.”
The Washington Examiner ran an article Wednesday that claimed DeSantis and Trump were in a “feud” over Trump’s July 4 rally: The report claimed that DeSantis made a “plea” for Trump to postpone the event, to be held in Sarasota.
“The Washington Examiner reporter who wrote it neglected to contact me until an hour before her deadline, and she did not get a comment from the governor’s political team at all before publication,” Pushaw continued.
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The proximity of the rally to the deadly partial collapse of the Champlain Towers condo tower in Surfside struck a nerve with some.
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The governor’s office said DeSantis would have joined the rally under normal circumstances, but that his duty is “to be in Surfside, making sure the families and community have what they need in the aftermath of this tragic building collapse.”
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The death toll in Surfside had risen to 24 as of Saturday morning, and the number of missing people reduced from 145 to 126 after officials eliminated duplicate names and some residents turned up safe.