Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) commented on Donald Trump’s announcement that he received a letter saying he is a target in the Justice Department’s investigation into the Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021. DeSantis noted the former president’s suspiciously calm reaction to the riot.

During a press event in South Carolina, the Republican presidential hopeful argued that Trump should have acted more “forcefully” on January 6, when his allies stormed the Capitol in protest of the results of the 2020 election.

“The difference between being brought up on criminal charges and doing things. For example, I think it was shown he was in the White House and didn’t do anything while things were going on. He should have come out more forcefully,” he explained.

DeSantis is currently trailing Trump in the polls. DeSantis’ far-right views on LGBTQ rights and abortion access have raised questions about his ability to read the political landscape and avoid another extremist GOP presidential term.

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Though historically a Trump-ally, DeSantis has become increasingly critical of the former president in light of his string of legal woes in recent months. Trump was indicted on 37 counts in June for willful retention of national security information and is facing possible charges for his role in election fraud claims and the subsequent insurrection.

Nevertheless, Trump is leading over DeSantis by more than 20 points. If he wants to edge out his biggest opponent, DeSantis will need to shift his campaign strategy and prevail in the first GOP debate, which is scheduled for August 23.

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