Donald Trump supporters turn up at DeSantis book signing: In what appears to be the first-ever real-world confrontation of the Trump vs. DeSantis era, a group of Trump supporters crashed an appearance for DeSantis’ new book
The rivalry between former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is often framed as a battle for the presidency of the United States, and possibly for the future direction of the Republican Party.
Now, for the first time, there’s been a real-life confrontation, although it merely involved supporters of the former president at an event attended by the governor who may be challenging him.
According to The Daily Beast, Ron DeSantis held a ticketed event and book signing at a Books a Million bookstore in Leesburg, Fla., for his new book, “The Courage to Be Free.”
A group of Donald Trump supporters, waving flags and holding signs, showed up at the event and were told that they could not be there.
Laura Loomer, the conservative social media personality who has been banned from an extensive list of social media platforms and has since reinvented herself as a political candidate in Florida, posted a video from outside the event, in which a security guard is shown telling Donald Trump supporters that they have to leave.
“They told me to say that anybody wearing Trump has to go right now,” the security guard says, before saying he has to call the local police.
In a subsequent video, the security guard accuses the Trump group of “acting like the far left.”
He also says that he supports Trump himself, including showing a Donald Trump wristband.
It’s not clear if Loomer, who had her Twitter account reinstated after Elon Musk bought the company, organized the pro-Trump group, or if she was merely there as a bystander.
Once police showed up, per the Daily Beast, the protesters left.
In another video, Loomer states that DeSantis “allows elections to be stolen by Big Tech,” an apparent reference to Loomer’s belief that something untoward occurred when she lost her primary election for Congress last year.
The thread also included more than one picture of Benito Mussolini, with DeSantis’ head photoshopped on the former Italian dictator’s body.
The Guardian also reported on the event, including a photo of a protester holding up a picture of DeSantis’ book cover, with a sticker that said “Ban this Book,” in reference to DeSantis’ law that threatens Florida teachers with felony charges if they display non-sanctioned books in their classrooms.
“Governor DeSantis, he always talks about how he’s in favour of free speech,” Loomer told The Guardian.
“So do we have a first amendment right to be here, to rally in support of President Trump?”
In the book, DeSantis “included several mentions of his interactions with former President Donald Trump, including an accounting of how White House staff was upset with DeSantis when he wrung out a promise by the president to increase federal relief funds following Hurricane Michael,” Politico said.
In a radio interview earlier this week with Fox’s Brian Kilmeade, DeSantis was asked about his reluctance to talk about the former president, and he called such discussions “silly season.”
“He can say what he wants about me. I will also give him credit for the things that he did that were positive. I’m appreciative of a lot of things he did. It doesn’t mean I agree with everything he’s doing lately,’’ DeSantis told Kilmeade in that interview.
However, the governor’s tone had changed a bit by the time he appeared for a Fox News interview that night.
“He used to say how great of a governor I was. Then I win a big victory and all of a sudden, you know, he had different opinions. So you can take that for what it’s worth,” DeSantis said.
Expertise and Experience: Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.