In a surprising development to come as the Florida governor allegedly prepares to announce his 2024 White House bid, DeSantis was profiled in the Times of London for a piece published on Thursday.
Although DeSantis declined to officially confirm whether he would be running for president next year, Times editor David Charter pointed out that the pair met for the interview at the Republican Party headquarters in Florida rather than the state governor’s office.
Charter also revealed that DeSantis exhibited a “flash of temper” at one point during the interview when asked about Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine and his potential policy regarding the conflict versus the current policy of President Joe Biden.
“I ask about Ukraine and he says that ‘there’s a critique of Biden, and I think I’m sympathetic to it in the sense that, is our policy just do whatever Zelensky wants? Or do we have a concrete idea of what we’re trying to achieve exactly?’” Charter wrote in Thursday’s profile of DeSantis.
“When I ask him how it should be handled differently, he refers to Biden being ‘weak on the world stage’ and failing at deterrence,” Charter continued, “but as that is not answering how it should be handled now, I ask again.”
“DeSantis does not have anything to add: ‘Perhaps you should cover some other ground? I think I’ve said enough.”
Shortly before his interview with the Times, DeSantis appeared on Fox News and downplayed Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine and President Biden’s “blank check” policy in sending aid to the invaded nation.
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"The fear of Russia going into NATO countries and all that and steamrolling, you know, that has not even come close to happening," DeSantis told Fox News. "I think [Russia has] shown themselves to be a third-rate military power."
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"I don't think it's in our interest to be getting into a proxy war with China,” he later added, “getting involved over things like the borderlands or over Crimea.”
Trump, who officially announced his 2024 White House bid in November, recently started mocking DeSantis with demeaning names and touting hypothetical polls that show the former president “15 points” higher than DeSantis among GOP primary voters.