Bannon Points to DeSantis' 'Great Reception' at NFL Game Amid Trump Warning

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Steve Bannon may already be picking sides in a potential 2024 Republican presidential race between Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis.

This past weekend Bannon, the one-time close adviser and confidant of Trump, touted an appearance made by the Florida governor at a postseason NFL game. While praising who many in the GOP believe could be the next president, Bannon also expressed disdain towards his former boss closely unifying with Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican.

On January 28, Trump will be joined by Graham and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster at the Statehouse in Columbia, South Carolina, the Associated Press reported last week. It will be his first public campaign event and will include the unveiling of his leadership team in the state.

“I have no earthly idea why [Graham’s] around [former] President Trump,” Bannon said regarding Trump’s campaign event on his War Room program. “He’s a cancer. He is a cancer, that’s metastasizing. President Trump’s gotta be warned. There’s nothing good that comes from having [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell‘s mini-me, the snake, Lindsey Graham around you at all.”

Bannon Trump Graham DeSantis 2024 GOP President
Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, is seen during the America First Agenda summit at the Marriott Marquis hotel on July 26, 2022, in Washington, D.C. Former president Donald Trump’s ex-adviser Steve Bannon has ripped Trump’s association with Graham, meanwhile acknowledging support received by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Graham’s anticipated endorsement of Trump comes as former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, and Senator Tim Scott, a South Carolina Republican, are reportedly weighing their own presidential ambitions.

“Nikki Haley is probably our first South Carolinian since we voted for George Washington that has really had a chance of being president of the United States,” former South Carolina GOP chair Katon Dawson told The Washington Post on Sunday. “And I think the Trump folks are going to run into that history.”

Meanwhile, Bannon also posted on his Gettr account the “great reception” DeSantis received on Saturday while at the Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Kansas City Chiefs hosted the Jacksonville Jaguars in a playoff game.

A video circulated on Twitter of a casually-dressed DeSantis walking on the field before the game, shaking hands with fans of different teams.

One younger fan in attendance can be heard telling DeSantis, “You’re the best governor, run for president.”

Scott Wagner, co-chair of DeSantis’ 2022-2023 transition team, called the Florida governor “the people’s champ” in a tweet.

What the Polls Show

Polls have fluctuated regarding a hypothetical 2024 matchup between Trump and DeSantis.

In December, a USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll showed DeSantis up 23 percentage points on Trump among Republican voters and independents who identified as either conservative or very conservative.

However, a poll released last week by Morning Consult’s 2024 GOP Primary Tracker showed Trump with a comfortable 17-point lead over DeSantis, and an overall stronghold on the Republican field.

In recent weeks, Trump has been more vocal about the prospect of facing DeSantis.

Last Monday while on the conservative podcast, The Water Cooler, Trump took credit for DeSantis initially being elected as Florida’s governor, and said he would “handle” him in a primary.

Newsweek reached out to Trump’s 2024 team for comment.