Pedro Gonzalez, one of the high-profile online personalities promoting Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R-FL) presidential run, saw more of his private messages surface this week demonstrating he had turned against former President Donald Trump long before the 2020 election.
The new messages, unearthed by the Washington Free Beacon, show Gonzalez criticizing Trump during his presidency for condemning white supremacy.
In one of the messages, Gonzalez shared a quote from Trump where he condemned “racism, bigotry, and white supremacy” in the aftermath of the El Paso, Texas, mass shooting in 2019.
“These sinister ideologies must defeated. Hatred has no place in America,” Trump said in the quote shared by Gonzalez. Gonzalez appeared upset with the former president’s condemnation of white supremacy, writing, “Fuck this president.”
“He didn’t actually cuck after Charlotesville, or not nearly as bad,” Gonzalez wrote to his friend, reacting to Trump’s remarks.
These messages cast doubt on Gonzalez’s public claims in response to the messages’ revelation that he had fallen under Trump’s influence and therefore expressed such views–but somehow now that he is a DeSantis supporter he is cured of them–given that he had clearly soured on Trump during the timeframe in which he was sending the messages. Nonetheless, his comment to the Free Beacon repeats that claim–something Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr. correctly called out as ridiculous.
Instead of taking personal responsibility like a man for his vile views about Jews, @emeriticus goes full leftist and like a coward, blames Trump!!! 🙄🙄🙄
"In an interview…Gonzalez attributed the remarks to his descent into what he described as an "online Trump world" pic.twitter.com/zqjIFVhHnc
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 31, 2023
Other new messages that came out from Gonzalez in the Free Beacon report show him attacking now former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as someone who “can’t be criticized” because she is Jewish–even though she is not Jewish. Pelosi is Catholic.
Gonzalez also claimed in the messages that Jewish scholar Yoram Hazony is an unfit spokesman for American nationalism because he was born in Israel.
While the newly surfaced messages are hardly any better for Gonzalez than the ones Breitbart News exclusively revealed back in late June, perhaps the bigger story here is the fact that a month later more are coming out–and that the Free Beacon, like Breitbart News did, asked the DeSantis campaign to comment which in both cases now it did not.
In addition, in both cases–for the Breitbart News story in late June and for the Free Beacon story this week–the pro-DeSantis Super PAC Never Back Down did in fact condemn Gonzalez and noted it had no relationship with him. In other words, the Super PAC and the campaign are handling this controversy in two very different ways and have been approaching it differently for over a month.
“The DeSantis campaign declined to comment on whether it had or has any relationship, formal or informal, with Gonzalez, though sources close to the campaign said the campaign has no current relationship with Gonzalez. Gonzalez said he has no official connection to the DeSantis campaign,” the Free Beacon’s Alana Goodman wrote. “Never Back Down, the super PAC supporting DeSantis, denounced Gonzalez and said it had no affiliation with him.”
From the original Breitbart News story on this in late June:
The DeSantis campaign has not replied to a request for comment from Breitbart News. Pushaw has not replied to a specific comment request, either. Gonzalez has also not replied to a request for comment on these matters.
A spokesperson for Never Back Down, however, said that the PAC has no relationship with Gonzalez and said the statements were “inexcusable” while touting DeSantis’s broader record fighting antisemitism. The statement also aimed to flip the criticism on Trump.
“The PAC has no relationship with this individual or the inexcusable statements he made when he was a Trump supporter, and the PAC has no relationship with Trump’s recent dinner partner Nick Fuentes,” a Never Back Down spokesperson told Breitbart News. “Governor DeSantis has a strong record of combatting anti-Semitism and signed legislation strengthening Holocaust education requirements in Florida public schools.”
Jewish Insider editor-in-chief Josh Kraushaar noticed this conundrum as well:
The fact that the DeSantis camp "declined to comment" on whether it had any relationship with a prominent antisemite is something… https://t.co/TkTMyPgKPo
— Josh Kraushaar (@JoshKraushaar) July 31, 2023
Kraushaar called it “something” that DeSantis continues to decline comment on this.