Roger Stone, a felon and longtime confidant of Donald Trump, has warned Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that he aims to block the Republican governor’s reelection by running against him unless DeSantis “pledges” not to participate in the 2024 presidential race.
Stone, a Florida resident, told CBS Miami on Friday that he has “no illusions about my ability to become elected governor,” adding: “That’s not the point here.”
But Stone is convinced he could siphon off enough votes to ruin DeSantis’ reelection chances next year. Stone said he would run in the race as a Libertarian or for another third party, CBS reported.
The warning from Stone was an attempt to scare off a potentially daunting contender for his pal Trump in the 2024 race — though Stone claimed he believed any state governor should commit to completing a full term.
Trump boasted last month that he would “beat” DeSantis in a Republican presidential primary — revealing that such a match-up is on his mind.
Stone told CBS that DeSantis should “pledge to the people of Florida that he will fill out all four years of a second term” before reelection.
What “I don’t want to see is for him to be reelected and then immediately abandon Florida to run off and run for president, particularly if he’s running against Donald Trump,” he added.
DeSantis has said that he’s running for reelection and has called speculation that he’ll make a stab at the presidency “manufactured.”
He could not immediately be reached for comment about Stone’s warning.
Trump hasn’t announced plans to run in 2024, but has appeared for weeks to already be campaigning. He has said that he’s going to wait to announce his intentions to dodge “ridiculous” campaign finance laws.
A columnist in the Palm Beach Daily quipped that Stone was like the enforcer for a mob boss, passing on a threat right from the top to DeSantis.
“Roger ‘Paulie Walnuts’ Stone” delivered the “verbal equivalent of a dead fish on Gov. Ron DeSantis doorstep” warning him not to run, mocked writer Frank Cerabino.
Stone last week threatened to run for Florida governor if DeSantis refused to launch an audit of the 2020 vote in his state (which Trump won).
“If Gov. Ron DeSantis does not order a full audit of the Florida 2020 vote, I may be forced to seek the Libertarian Party nomination for governor in 2022. And Ron can kiss his arrogant Yalie ass goodbye,” Stone wrote on his Telegram account.
He urged the crowd that night to “fight,” and “never give up ... never surrender.”
He stayed then at the downtown Willard hotel, site of a “war room” where Trump allies were plotting to overturn a legitimate presidential election. Stone told CBS Miami that the existence of such a command center was “unbeknownst to me.”
Stone was sentenced last year to 40 months in prison for seven felonies, including witness tampering, lying to the FBI and Congress, and obstructing the House investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in 2016.
Trump commuted Stone’s sentence in July 2020.
Check out Stone’s entire interview with CBS Miami in the video clip up top.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.