Former President Donald Trump, who ripped through the 2016 presidential field with attacks on his rivals, reposted images of a young Ron DeSantis allegedly partying with high school teens and adding his own mocking commentary.
‘That’s not Ron, is it? He would never do such a thing!’ Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform.
The post linked to a Truth Social Account that grabbed a digital image of a young man with a bowl haircut who appears to be DeSantis surrounded by three young women.
One of them, who has her arm around the now-Florida governor, is smiling and appears to be holding a brown glass bottle. The hit comes as DeSantis has been rising in the polls and lining up influential supporters.
Former President Donald Trump reposted a commenter on his Truth Social site who linked to a 2021 blog post alleging Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis allegedly partying with high school seniors when he was a teacher at a Georgia boarding school
To drive home the point, Trump also re-posted a message by a user named Dong-Chan Lee, who wrote that ‘Ron DeSantis was having a “drink” party with his students when he was a high school teacher. Having drinks with underage girls and cuddling with them certainly look pretty gross and ephebophiliaesque,’ a term relating to attraction to adolescents.
‘No way?’ wrote Trump on Tuesday.
Neither post contains evidence that the girls pictured were underaged, or establishes that anyone photographed was illegally consuming alcohol. DailyMail.com has not been able to verify the provenance of the photos.
Lee describes himself as a ‘paleoconservative’ and Trump supporter.
The image, which blurs the identity of the people surrounding DeSantis, appears to come from a 2021 blogpost by HILLREPORTER.com. The post cites a ‘whistleblower’ who said the girls pictured ‘are believed to have graduated in 2002, making them seniors at the time.’
Trump has repeatedly taken credit for DeSantis’ 2018 Florida win. DeSantis led him in a head-to-head matchup in a poll out Monday. Trump trashed the Club for Growth, who commissioned the survey
Trump posted the image a second time, adding mockingly: ‘He would never do such a thing.’
DeSantis taught at the Darlington School in Rome, Georgia after attending Yale University
DeSantis, 44, taught history and government at the Darlington School in Rome, Georgia during the 2001-2002 year.
He was fresh out of Yale at the time, and students described him as smart, ‘smug,’ charismatic, and a ‘jock.’
The New York Times made reference to the blog post in its own article about DeSantis’ time at the school, neither confirming nor knocking down the details of the incident.
‘Last year, Hill Reporter, a blog put out by a Democratic super PAC, published a photograph of Mr. DeSantis taken with several female students from Darlington in 2002, one of whom was holding what appeared to be a bottle of beer,’ according to the paper.
‘Two former students, both women, remembered him attending at least two parties where alcohol was served, but they said that the parties took place after graduation and that they were not bothered by his presence at the time, although they question it now. “It was his first job out of Yale, he was cute. We didn’t really think too much about it,” one of the former students said,’ according to the Times.
Trump’s attacks come as DeSantis has been rising in the 2024 polls for the Republican presidential nomination, and days after Florida governor in a press conference referenced attacks against him.
‘I roll out of bed, I have people attacking me from all angles, it’s been happening for many, many years. When you’re an elected executive, you have to make all kinds of decisions. You got to steer that ship,’ he said.
‘And the good thing is, is that the people are able to render a judgment on that — whether they re-elect you or not,’ he said.
‘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 in the history of the state of Florida,’ he said – pointing to a feat, reelection, that Trump himself did not achieve.
It comes a day after a new Club for Growth poll shows DeSantis leading Trump by nine points in a head-to-head matchup.
Trump also attacked the conservative group, calling it the ‘Club for NO Growth’ and ‘an assemblage of political misfits, globalists, and losers’ who ‘fought me incessantly’ in a post.
DailyMail.com has reached out to the DeSantis campaign for comment.
The ‘groomer’ attack on DeSantis, even lacking evidence, could have added sting, since DeSantis’ office characterized opponents of his ‘don’t say gay’ bill as ‘groomers,’ prompting backlash at the time.