Trump Changes Tune On 2018 DeSantis Endorsement

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Diana Glebova White House Correspondent
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Former President Donald Trump appeared to flip-flop on his endorsement of Ron DeSantis for governor of Florida, changing his mind as to whether he regretted his decision after a little more than a week.

On March 4, Trump told the Daily Caller he was “very happy” to have endorsed DeSantis for governor in 2018, but told reporters on Monday that he “might” regret his decision.

“If Ron DeSantis is such a fraud, why did you endorse him for governor? Did you make a mistake?” this reporter, White House correspondent Diana Glebova, asked Trump at CPAC.

“I’m very happy I endorsed him for governor, because the alternative would’ve been very bad. He was a disaster as it turned out — the alternative would’ve been very bad. Florida’s doing — Florida’s done well for a long time, and I’m very happy about that,” Trump responded.

On Monday, Trump told reporters on Trump Force One that he “might” regret his endorsement of DeSantis. (RELATED: Trump Explains Why He Gave DeSantis Nickname ‘Ron DeSanctimonious,’ Says He Regrets Endorsing Him For Governor)

“Uh, yeah, maybe. I like people that are loyal. This guy was dead. He was dead as a doornail. Yeah, I might. I might say that. I always got along great with him when he was governor. I did a lot of good things for Florida … I helped him a lot. I helped a lot of other people too,” Trump said.

In response to an inquiry from the Caller, Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung said that “President Trump has said he respects people who are loyal, especially since politics is a nasty game.”

The former president also told reporters en route to Iowa that he “probably” sees DeSantis as his primary challenger for 2024, although the governor has not yet announced a bid.

A reporter on board Trump Force One asked Trump whether DeSantis was going to be his biggest “challenger” in the primaries.

“I would say probably so, but you never know what happens, it could change. I think that we’re not going to have much of a challenge,” Trump said.