Florida’s DeSantis calls Trump indictment ‘flimsy’ at Nassau event

Florida’s DeSantis calls Trump indictment ‘flimsy’ at Nassau event
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks from the Cradle of Aviation Museum Saturday night. (Photo by Brandon Duffy)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s prosecution of former President Donald Trump “flimsy” at a speaking event from the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Uniondale Saturday Night. 

DeSantis, who could run against Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, was making one of many stops promoting his book, “The Courage to Be Free,” and discussing the Florida Blueprint, which event organizers described as a model for the rest of the nation. 

“This guy is all about politics,” DeSantis said of Bragg to applause from hundreds in the crowd. “He has an agenda. That is not the rule of law.”

Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 federal offenses related to falsifying business records during his Manhattan arraignment Tuesday afternoon.

DeSantis has not officially announced his candidacy for president, but multiple polls show him in second place behind Trump among Republicans.

The event opened with Nassau County Republican Chairman Joseph Cairo and Executive Bruce Blakeman, who touted Nassau’s success since his administration began, before former U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) welcomed DeSantis to the stage.

A group of Trump supporters gathered outside the venue holding “Honk for Trump” signs on the side of Charles Lindbergh Boulevard, among other flags. Another group of anti-DeSantis protesters was also present but gathered at a distance from the pro-Trump group. 

When DeSantis began his nearly 45-minute speech, at least one Trump supporter shouting “Trump” multiple times was removed from the venue by security. 

The 44-year-old Republican opened his speech by enumerating his gubernatorial accomplishments. After winning the 2018 gubernatorial campaign by less than a 1% margin against Democrat Andrew Gillum, he won re-election in 2022 by nearly 20 points. 

“The free state of Florida was really the promised land for many people over these last three or four years,” DeSantis said. “We lead the country in net-in migration, we are the fastest growing state in the country, we lead the nation in new business formations, we’re No. 1 amongst large states in GDP growth and we’re No. 1 in education freedom.”

DeSantis was also very critical of President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party as a whole, saying President Biden is “weak, floundering and being controlled by the leftist elements of the Democratic Party.”

“What we have shown is if you exhibit bold leadership, if you have a strong agenda, you can beat the left and we beat them,” DeSantis said.

Many current and former Long Island GOP officials were present in the audience for the large turnout of over 500 people, including former U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), U.S. Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-Island Park) of the state’s 4th District, U.S. Rep. Nick LaLota (R-Amtiyville), and former U.S. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato.

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