- Trump slammed DeSantis in private, wrote New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman in her new book.
- Citing sources, Haberman wrote that Trump had called DeSantis “fat” and “whiny.”
- He also said Chris Christie, another rival, had a “weight problem,” per Haberman’s book.
Former President Donald Trump has been making rude comments in private about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, according to a new book by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman.
In an excerpt from “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America,” published by The Atlantic on Sunday, Haberman detailed a meeting she had in the summer with Trump at the latter’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
During the meeting, she spoke with Trump about Christie, one of his 2016 election rivals.
“I was compared to him? Why? I didn’t know I had that big of a weight problem,” Trump told Haberman, per her account. He also called Christie an “opportunist.”
Haberman also wrote that she had heard of Trump using similar terms to describe DeSantis. She also recalled learning from sources that Trump had called DeSantis “fat,” “phony,” and “whiny” while also taking credit for the latter clinching the governor’s seat in 2018.
Per the excerpt, Trump told Haberman that the question he most often received was whether he would be running for president again.
“The answer is, yeah, I think so. Because here’s the way I look at it. I have so many rich friends and nobody knows who they are,” Haberman wrote of Trump’s response.
She added: “Reflecting on the meaning of having been president of the United States, his first impulse was not to mention public service, or what he felt he’d accomplished, only that it appeared to be a vehicle for fame, and that many experiences were only worth having if someone else envied them.”
Representatives for DeSantis and Christie and an aide at Trump’s post-presidential press office did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
DeSantis and Trump have been posited as leading contenders for the 2024 Republican presidential ticket, though neither has made a formal declaration about running in the next election.
In July, a DeSantis representative told Insider that DeSantis remains “focused on Florida and running for reelection as governor this year.” However, the governor has been boosting his political profile — launching a fundraising blitz that included selling a gold “Florida First Fighter” card that appeared to resemble the Trump Card.
Trump has reacted harshly to the idea that DeSantis might be a potential competitor for the 2024 GOP ticket.
In July, the former president slammed “Fox & Friends” for reporting on polls that showed DeSantis taking the lead over him, accusing the show’s hosts of having “gone to the dark side.” Earlier this month, Trump took a swipe at DeSantis, sharing an Insider story about his polling lead over DeSantis via his Save America political action committee.
Rolling Stone also recently reported that Trump was irritated that DeSantis was stealing his limelight with a political stunt that involved two planeloads of migrants being flown to Martha’s Vineyard, a Democratic enclave.