‘Rough Opening’: Trump Takes Swings at DeSantis While Hitting the Links for Saudi-Backed LIV Golf Event

Donald Trump at LIV Golf event

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Former President Donald Trump took a series of swings at his new rival for the GOP presidential nomination, mocking Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over his “rough opening” to his campaign.

DeSantis’ campaign launch got off to a remarkably bumpy start, with the Twitter Spaces organized by Chief Twit Elon Musk repeatedly crashing and starting late. “#DeSaster” was trending on Twitter for hours after the debacle.

Even Fox News ridiculed the technical glitches in a headline on their website that read “AMATEUR HOUR” and then pouring salt in the wound with a promo for their own interview with the governor that said, “PROGRAMMING ALERT: Want to actually see and hear Ron DeSantis? Tune into Fox News at 8 p.m. ET.”

Trump, unsurprisingly, reacted to his new opponent’s stumbles with vicious glee in a barrage of posts on his Truth Social account.

The ex-president still gloating when reporters swarmed him at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, where the LIV Golf Pro-Am, the latest event organized by the controversial Saudi-backed league, is being held.

“What do you think about Ron DeSantis?” a reporter asked in the above video from NewsNation.

“I think he had a rough opening,” replied Trump.

Washington Post sports writer Rick Maese had additional reporting about Trump’s running commentary during the pro-am. Trump called DeSantis’ launch a “disaster” and added that he was “not sure” the governor “can recover from that, that’s how bad it was.”

The ex-president added that he had tried to listen to DeSantis’ Twitter Space “for the first half hour” but “it was really not anything you could listen to” and “after that everybody just turned it off. And it didn’t break because they had too many people. If anything, they had too few people.”

CNN’s senior media reporter Oliver Darcy made a related point on Twitter Thursday morning about the audience size, noting that the DeSantis Twitter Space crashed “with just a few hundred thousand concurrent listeners,” reiterating what he wrote in the Reliable Sources newsletter the night before that the audience “was not even close to epic proportions.” Wrote Darcy:

At its peak, some six-hundred thousand listeners were awaiting DeSantis’ remarks during the initial Twitter Spaces event, which is a run-of-the-mill cable news audience that figures such as DeSantis and Musk would normally mock as being tiny.”

And it’s also worth noting that functioning social media platforms such as YouTube regularly host large volumes of users — millions, in fact — to simultaneously watch video livestreams without such glitches. The fact that Twitter struggled to host an audio-only event raises serious questions about the platform’s capability. Carlson averaged 3 million concurrent viewers on his Fox News show. How will Twitter support an audience like that — especially with video?

Trump dunked on his fellow Florida Man’s golf game, telling Sharla McBride, a reporter for Washington’s CBS affiliate, that he has golfed with DeSantis before and when she asked about whose golf game is better, “he smiled and said, ‘Mine.'”

He also criticized DeSantis for being “not loyal,” so it seems they won’t be hitting the links together again any time soon.

Watch the video above, via NewsNation.

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Sarah Rumpf joined Mediaite in 2020 and is a Contributing Editor focusing on politics, law, and the media. A native Floridian, Sarah attended the University of Florida, graduating with a double major in Political Science and German, and earned her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the UF College of Law. Sarah's writing has been featured at National Review, The Daily Beast, Reason, Law & Crime, Independent Journal Review, Texas Monthly, The Capitolist, Breitbart Texas, Townhall, RedState, The Orlando Sentinel, and the Austin-American Statesman, and her political commentary has led to appearances on the BBC, MSNBC, NewsNation, Fox 35 Orlando, Fox 7 Austin, The Young Turks, The Dean Obeidallah Show, and other television, radio, and podcast programs across the globe.