Trump’s Florida still rally on despite Surfside building collapse

Former President Donald Trump’s Sarasota rally scheduled for Saturday is moving ahead despite a report that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office asked for the event to be postponed while the governor responds to the mass casualty event in Surfside.

A report published Wednesday in the conservative Washington Examiner says the governor’s office made a “direct plea” to Trump’s team to cancel the rally, citing unnamed sources. 

The governor’s office put out a statement Wednesday denying that DeSantis wants to postpone the rally, and GOP officials said the rally is going forward as planned.

Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington noted the Sarasota rally is a significant distance from Surfside and said it won’t interfere with the disaster response.

“Like all Americans, President Trump sends his deepest condolences to those who’ve lost loved ones or been displaced by the terrible tragedy in Surfside,” Harrington said. “The event in Sarasota, however, is on the other side of the state, 3 1/2 hours away, approximately the same distance from Boston to New York, and will not impact any of the recovery efforts. In fact, President Trump has instructed his team to collect relief aid for Surfside families both online and on-site at the Sarasota rally.”

The rally is being billed as a joint event hosted by Trump and the Florida GOP, which has a fundraiser planned to raise money for the 2022 election.

Florida GOP Executive Director Helen Aguirre Ferré, who previously served as the governor’s communications director, said “We’re excited about the rally.”

“We welcome the president and the rally is about celebrating the founding of our great nation, Fourth of July,” she added. “Florida is an open state and we’re ready to celebrate.”

Source: USA Today – Breaking News

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