Florida Governor Ron DeSantis heaped praise on his ‘friend’ Donald Trump in a new Tuesday interview where he blamed the media and Democrats for rumors that his relationship with the ex-president has gone frosty.
DeSantis insisted that the reported rivalry between he and Trump was ‘bunk’ claims generated by the media and Democrats, accusing them stoking divisions to weaken the Republican Party ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
He also underscored his support for the ex-president by urging podcast host Joe Rogan to stand up to criticism over his frequent use of the n-word in episodes of his audio show. DeSantis said people trusted the former Fear Factor host on COVID-19 more than CNN because the media giant was ”spewing disinformation.’
‘Donald Trump’s a friend of mine. He is proud when people do well, and it’s not just me, but obviously he’s a Florida resident, and he appreciates the job that we’ve done,’ DeSantis told Fox News.
‘He’s told me that many times, not only with helping with the election, but just how we govern the state.’
Neither Trump nor DeSantis have confirmed 2024 ambitions. But early GOP polls indicate the Florida governor, who rose to national recognition with Trump’s blessing, is a distant second to the ex-president as the favorite for the Republican nomination.
Multiple reports have indicated Trump is privately seething about DeSantis’ meteoric rise from pro-Trump House lawmaker to a top White House contender, and has bristled about the fact that DeSantis has not ruled out a 2024 challenge.
DeSantis spoke to Fox News in an interview published Tuesday, during which he sought to dispel rumors that his relationship with Donald Trump has soured
DeSantis, whose successful bid to be governor of Florida was backed by Trump, has reportedly angered Trump by refusing to rule out a 2024 challenge
DeSantis said Trump ‘wants to see Republicans doing well.’
‘And I think when media is trying to act like he’s upset at me for doing well, I think that’s total bunk. I think they’re just making it up,’ he said.
Asked about reports that Trump said DeSantis has a ‘dull personality,’ the Florida governor suggested it was a lie generated by Democrats or the media, claiming they were trying to shift political discourse away from President Joe Biden’s crisis-plagued first year in office.
‘So they know that, they know the Democrats are in for a shellacking in 2022. So they’re trying to change the topic, and they’re trying to drive dissension among Republicans,’ DeSantis claimed.
‘And so my message to people is, don’t take that bait. Understand what they’re trying to do. We need to be united and say we don’t like what the Biden administration’s doing.’
He urged his fellow party members to ‘go into ‘22 with a full head of steam with everybody united on the same team.’
In another portion of his Fox interview published earlier on Tuesday, DeSantis urged Joe Rogan to not ‘cow to the mob’ amid his racial controversy.
Trump had said on Monday night: ‘Joe Rogan is an interesting and popular guy, but he’s got to stop apologizing to the Fake News and Radical Left maniacs and lunatics.’
On Monday, former President Donald Trump said Rogan, who has apologized for using the N-word, shouldn’t apologize anymore
Writing on Gab, Trump said Rogan should stop apologizing and ‘just go about’ what he’s doing
‘How many ways can you say you’re sorry? Joe, just go about what you do so well and don’t let them make you look weak and frightened. That’s not you and it never will be!’ Trump wrote in a statement.
On Saturday, Rogan has apologized after musical artist India Arie shared a compilation of Rogan where he could be heard repeatedly using the N-word on his podcast over the years.
He could then be heard making a joke about the movie ‘Planet of the Apes’ as he recalled a time when he was dropped off in a black neighborhood.
DeSantis insisted that Rogan made a mistake by apologizing, and also defended the podcast host against criticism for inviting guests who share COVID-19 misinformation.
‘No, he shouldn’t have apologized. I mean, you see what happens? The mob will come after people, and they’re targeting Rogan because he’s threatening to upset the apple cart on some of the things that they’re holding dear,’ DeSantis said.
‘And with COVID, he’s just bringing opposing views. He’s letting people decide. They say he’s against [the COVID vaccine]. I do not listen to his show, but then I read he specifically advocated for people with co-morbidities and elderly to get vaccinated.’
Joe Rogan posted a nearly six minute video to Instagram Saturday in which he spoke about a video of him that contained resurfaced clips of him saying the N-word on his podcast
He continued: ‘I think a lot of the legacy outlets and I think the left fear the fact that he can reach so many people, and so they’re out to destroy him. But what I would say is don’t give an inch. Do not apologize. Do not cow to the mob.’
DeSantis predicted that mainstream media outlets would be looked on less favorably after the pandemic than Rogan.
‘Well, I think when people are going to look back at this, they’re going to look at outlets like CNN, New York Times as having spewed misinformation they claim to be policing it,’ he said. ‘But if you look from the beginning, who was advocating for lockdowns? CNN and New York Times. Who is advocating for school closures? Those outlets. Who has advocated for force masking of kids? Those outlets.’
The video compilation of Rogan emerged when artist India Arie posted it on her Instagram account, using the hashtag #DeleteSpotify.
‘They take this money that´s built from streaming, and they pay this guy $100 million, but they pay us like .003% of a penny,’ the Grammy winner wrote. ‘I don´t want to generate money that pays that.’
Rogan went on Instagram to apologize for his use of racial slurs saying that he had said things ‘that I wish I hadn’t said, or had said differently.’
He said that the slurs were the ‘most regretful and shameful thing’ he has ever had to address and that he hasn´t used the N-word in years.
Rogan himself said his use of the ‘N word’ over a 12-year period, highlighted in the compilation video, looked ‘horrible, even to me.’
India Arie shared resurfaced clips of Spotify’s premier podcaster Joe Rogan repeatedly using the N-word, after pulling her discography from the popular streaming platform
He said he believed at the time that as long as he was using the word in context that people would understand his actions.
‘I never used it to be racist, because I’m not racist,’ he said.
‘There’s nothing I can do to take that back. I wish I could. Obviously, that’s not possible. I certainly wasn’t trying to be racist, and I certainly would never want to offend someone for entertainment with something as stupid as racism,’ Rogan said.
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek also said in a message to employees on Sunday that Rogan’s racist language was ‘incredibly hurtful’ and that the host was behind the removal of dozens of episodes of his show.
‘While I strongly condemn what Joe has said and I agree with his decision to remove past episodes from our platform, I realize some will want more,’ Ek said in the note. ‘And I want to make one point very clear – I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer.’
Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek wrote in a note to employees on Sunday that while he condemned podcaster Joe Rogan’s use of racist language, he did not believe that cutting ties with the popular personality was the answer. Ek’s message came a day after Rogan apologized for using racist slurs on his podcast and removed several episodes from Spotify
The letter is the clearest indication yet of where Spotify stands on Rogan´s fate with the company as some musicians, including Neil Young and India.Arie, have pulled their work from the streaming service in protest and others could follow.
Rogan’s podcast is a key part of the company´s strategy to be a one-stop shop for audio.
‘We should have clear lines around content and take action when they are crossed, but canceling voices is a slippery slope. Looking at the issue more broadly, it´s critical thinking and open debate that powers real and necessary progress,’ Ek wrote.
In his letter, Ek announced an investment of $100 million to license, develop and market ‘music and audio content from historically marginalized groups,’ without giving more details.
Rogan had been facing backlash for COVID-19 misinformation in his program hosted on Spotify, after singer-songwriters including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell pulled their content from the streaming platform.
The Joe Rogan Experience netted the podcaster a $100million deal from the premier streamer
The incidents prompted Spotify to add a ‘content advisory’ to any episode featuring discussion of COVID-19 as scientists and medical professionals urged the platform to prevent Rogan from spreading falsehoods.
Spotify said it would soon add a warning to all podcasts that discuss COVID-19, directing listeners to factual, up-to-date information from scientists and public health experts.
Rogan’s show, The Joe Rogan Experience, has become one of the most popular podcasts on Spotify after the streaming platform started featuring it in 2020.
Spotify’s exclusive licensing deal for the show was worth more than $100 million.
More than 70 episodes of Rogan’s podcast were removed from the platform over the weekend after he issued his first apology on Saturday.
Spotify’s market value dropped by around $2bn after singer Neil Young removed his music from the platform on January 24 in protest against its decision to host Joe Rogan’s podcast
Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell also asked to have her music removed from Spotify four days later
On Monday, the CEO of Rumble, a YouTube-style website popular among U.S. conservatives, offered Rogan $100 million over four years to move his show over to their platform.
Launched in 2013, Canada-based Rumble has also entered an agreement to deliver video and streaming for Truth Social, former U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed social media app.
Spotify reports having 406 million active monthly users, up nearly 20% from last year, and advertising has grown largely because of podcasts.
Musicians still generate the bulk of Spotify´s profits, experts say.
The company had 31% of the 524 million music streaming subscriptions worldwide in the second quarter of 2021, more than double that of second-place Apple Music, according to Midia Research.