Alon Skuy/AFP via Getty Images and Scott Olson/Getty Images
- Trump has a new label for Ron DeSantis: “RINO globalist.”
- The term “RINO” means “Republican in name only” and was previously reserved for Trump’s biggest foes.
- Meanwhile, “globalist” has its roots in a far-right conspiracy theory.
Former President Donald Trump has a new label for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis: “RINO Globalist.”
“The real Ron is a RINO GLOBALIST, who closed quickly down Florida and even its beaches. Loved the Vaccines and wasted big money on ‘Testing.’ How quickly people forget!,” Trump wrote on Truth Social on Wednesday.
Far-right conspiracy theorists use the word “globalist” to refer to a fringe, anti-semitic conspiracy theory about a cabal of elite individuals secretly controlling the world. Trump’s insult is a thinly-veiled accusation that DeSantis is part of this global network of powerful, evil people. Trump did not give any evidence to substantiate the claim.
As for the term RINO, or “Republican in name only,” that’s an insult Trump reserves for his GOP political foes. He called former Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger “horrible RINOs” in February 2022 because they took seats on the January 6 committee investigating the Capitol riot.
The new insult marks a continuation of Trump’s recent attacks on DeSantis. On Saturday, Trump called DeSantis “very disloyal” for contemplating a 2024 run against him.
“So then when I hear he might run, you know, I consider that very disloyal,” Trump told reporters on board his plane, per CNN. “But, it’s not about loyalty — to me it is, it’s always about loyalty. But for a lot of people, it’s not about that.”
The Trump-DeSantis drama is heating up
Trump announced his 2024 presidential run in November. DeSantis has not yet announced a run, but that has not stopped Trump from going on the offensive.
In November, Trump dubbed the governor “Ron DeSanctimonious” during a rally and blasted him as “average” on social media.
In January, Trump said he will “handle” DeSantis if the governor decides to launch a 2024 presidential bid.
DeSantis has refrained from exchanging tit-for-tat insults with Trump. In November, DeSantis told people to “chill out” about the prospect of a GOP civil war between him and the former president.
On Tuesday, the governor finally acknowledged the onslaught of insults from Trump.
“I roll out of bed, I have people attacking me from all angles, it’s been happening for many, many years,” DeSantis said during a press conference in response to a question about Trump’s attacks, per Politico.
“The good thing is, is that the people are able to render a judgment on that whether they re-elect you or not,” DeSantis added. “And I’m happy to say — you know, in my case — not only did we win re-election, we won with the highest percentage of the vote that any Republican governor candidate has had in the history of the state of Florida.”
Speaking to The Hill this week, Stephen Lawson, a political strategist who worked for DeSantis in 2018, said DeSantis is making a good move by just letting Trump “self-implode.”
“Nobody has done more to hurt Donald Trump than himself and I think Gov. DeSantis is absolutely taking the right tact here, by completely ignoring Trump and letting him throw boomerangs,” Lawson told The Hill.
Representatives for DeSantis and Trump did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.