Then-President Donald Trump greets then-Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis during a campaign rally at the Hertz Arena on October 31, 2018 in Estero, Florida.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
- A Trump ally told CNN Ron DeSantis would be a key beneficiary from Tuesday’s Jan 6 testimony.
- A former White House aide testified about Trump’s actions on Jan. 6.
- DeSantis is positioning himself as Trump’s main rival for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
Trump aides are debating the likely political fallout from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s explosive Jan. 6 committee testimony Tuesday, CNN reported.
Hutchinson’s testimony contained damaging allegations about Trump’s behavior on Jan. 6, 2021, including claims he lunged at a Secret Service agent driving him and ordered to be taken to join protesters he knew to be armed as they marched on the Capitol.
“This is basically a campaign commercial for (Florida Gov.) Ron DeSantis 2024,” a Trump ally told CNN.
Meanwhile, a Trump adviser who was in a group text chat with several other Trump aides and allies watching the hearing told CNN that “no one is taking this lightly.”
“For the first time since the hearings started, no one is dismissing this,” the adviser said.
While some analysts have focussed on potential legal repercussions for Trump as a result of the testimony, there are also questions being asked about how the hearings could impact his political future.
Neither DeSantis nor Trump has officially announced a run for president.
But Trump has stirred rumors that he is preparing another bid for the White House in 2024 and has continued to push the election fraud conspiracy theories that incited the Capitol attack.
While only weeks ago Trump’s ascendancy in the GOP appeared unassailable, there have been signs of a challenge mounting in strength from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is also rumored to be preparing for a presidential bid in 2024.
DeSantis previously cast himself as one of Trump’s most adamant allies, but according to a recent Politico report, he sees the Jan. 6 hearings as a path to a possible Trump indictment that would seriously damage the former president’s political standing.
DeSantis’s office pushed back against the Politico report in a statement to Insider Monday.
“The hearings are a total circus meant to distract from Biden’s failures. Quoting unnamed sources to detail the Governor’s thinking when he has clearly stated that this is a farce is a predictable tactic from POLITICO and the corporate media,” a spokesperson told Insider. “This is another embarrassing effort to distract from Democrat failures.”