Former President Donald Trump has launched yet another missile at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, this time aiming to catch the much-loved satirical website, The Babylon Bee, in the blast.
Trump took to his social media platform, Truth Social, on Thursday night, and he brought receipts.
“Why is Ron DeSanctimonious paying The Babylon Bee, a non-entity, $5,000 a month, so far $21,500, if he’s not running for President?” Trump demanded to know. “Just because his Poll Numbers are tanking, probably because of his desire to cut Social Security and Medicare, doesn’t allow him to campaign without an announcement!”
“You don’t spend that much money on The Babylon Bee if you’re running for Governor,” he stated, “in fact, you don’t spend money on The Babylon Bee if you’re running for anything.”
Attached to the post was a screenshot of DeSantis’s payments to The Babylon Bee. The photo doesn’t list the dates of the payments, so it is unclear when they were made or for what purpose.
However, controversial independent investigative journalist Laura Loomer claims it was she who originally broke the story of DeSantis’s payments to the conservative site “months ago.”
As Trump’s post on Truth Social migrated to Twitter, Loomer wrote, “BREAKING: President Trump just issued a statement on @GovRonDeSantis paying @TheBabylonBee over $20,000!”
“If you recall, I broke this story months ago,” she continued. “Wait till Trump finds out that Babylon Bee is paid to write ‘jokes and funny angles’ for DeSanctimonious. I’m sure he knows!”
BREAKING: President Trump just issued a statement on @GovRonDeSantis paying @TheBabylonBee over $20,000!
If you recall, I broke this story months ago.
Wait till Trump finds out that Babylon Bee is paid to write “jokes and funny angles” for DeSanctimonious.
I’m sure he knows! pic.twitter.com/EADS1vnXVX
— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) March 17, 2023
In a follow-up tweet, Loomer linked to an article from Big League Politics, headlined, “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Puts Babylon Bee on His Campaign Payroll, Site Immediately Starts Putting Out Anti-Trump Propaganda.”
Shortly after the story was published, Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon responded to DeSantis’s response to a “Trump ReTruth accusing him of being a ‘groomer.'”
BREAKING: DeSantis responds to Trump ReTruth accusing him of being a "groomer"
"I'd just say this. I spend my time delivering results for the people of Florida and fighting against Joe Biden […] I don't spend my time trying to smear other Republicans." pic.twitter.com/Ddj9Mb1MYj
— Florida’s Voice (@FLVoiceNews) February 8, 2023
“He forgot to say ‘I Just pay people to smear other Republicans for me.’ Right @SethDillon?” tweeted one user.
In his response, Dillon stated clearly that the Bee has never been paid to go on the attack for a candidate.
“Serious irony here given that you’re smearing a Republican right now,” Dillon wrote. “We’ve never been paid to attack anyone, period. You’ve bought into a lie.”
Serious irony here given that you're smearing a Republican right now. We've never been paid to attack anyone, period. You've bought into a lie.
— Seth Dillon (@SethDillon) February 8, 2023
“Interesting because you’re getting a bunch of fat donations from the DeSantis campaign right at the exact time the Babylon bee suddenly went anti-Trump,” the user shot back.
“You’ll believe what you want. That’s human nature,” Dillon replied. “But we’ve always written Trump jokes. Try Google.”
The CEO attached a link to the many Trump jokes The Bee has published over time.
You'll believe what you want. That's human nature. But we've always written Trump jokes. Try Google. https://t.co/PdRHtdAuxl
— Seth Dillon (@SethDillon) February 8, 2023
To show that DeSantis was not spared the satirical touch, another user posted a Babylon Bee article about the governor’s infamous move to fly migrants to Martha’s Vineyard.
Dude, do a simple search…https://t.co/U150weCLBbhttps://t.co/l4oST2GtZS
— TJ Roberts (@realTJRoberts) February 8, 2023
On Feb. 13, Dillon tweeted, “Trump’s a friend. But people will believe what they want. It wasn’t helping to argue about it.”
“The Left wants us at each other’s throats,” he added. “Let’s not give them what they want.”
Trump’s a friend. But people will believe what they want. It wasn’t helping to argue about it.
The Left wants us at each other’s throats. Let’s not give them what they want.
— Seth Dillon (@SethDillon) February 13, 2023
With all of this established more than a month ago, it is unclear why Trump decided to lob a cannon at The Bee, but it is clear that his attacks on DeSantis, who many believe will pose the greatest challenge to his 2024 run for the White House, won’t end anytime soon.
But, with so many conservatives seeing DeSantis’s war on all things woke as heroic, Trump’s strategy may backfire, especially if he views The Babylon Bee as acceptable collateral damage.
“I was at a conservative diner and everyone there said that they were done with Trump after he trashed the Babylon bee [sic],” wrote one Twitter user.
“It’s almost like he wants to lose,” said another.
“Who ever is advising Trump’s campaign really should be fired,” tweeted a third.
And another dismissed the notion that DeSantis is Trump’s top competitor.
“The only person who can defeat Donald Trump,” the user wrote, “is Donald Trump.”
I was at a conservative diner and everyone there said that they were done with Trump after he trashed the Babylon bee
— Big Yank Ball (@beefalosoldier) March 17, 2023
It’s almost like he wants to lose
— ericontrarian (@eriContrarian) March 17, 2023
Who ever is advising Trump’s campaign really should be fired.
— hopefortomorrow (@hopefortomorr19) March 17, 2023
The only person who can defeat Donald Trump is Donald Trump.
— Alex (@alexanderjgallo) March 17, 2023
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