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Top Republican donor says he believes Donald Trump WILL NOT run in 2024

A prominent GOP donor who gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Donald Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns says he does not believe the former president will run for the White House again in 2024.

Instead, Dallas businessman Doug Deason said he could see Trump anointing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to take on the national MAGA torch.

He spoke to DailyMail.com in the offices of his financial empire shortly before the former president arrived to address conservatives in Dallas.

Once again, Trump delighted the crowd by trailing the idea of a 2024 run without confirming that he would definitely stand. 

Deason said Trump had a lot to lose by running. 

‘I think Donald Trump is enjoying life,’ he said. ‘And I think that he is in a position as the power broker. 

‘He’s the kingmaker and why would he want to go back and get the crap beat out of him all the time, and have all the responsibility and not be building his empire?

‘He’s had to go back and help rebuild it and you know, why let it deteriorate? 

‘Why would it fall apart again? Because he’s just gonna get attacked just like he was.

‘And he can be the kingmaker without being the king.’

Top Republican donor Doug Deason said he did not believe Donald Trump will run in 2024. Although he would win the party primary he would likely lose in the general election, he said 

Trump appeared before the conservative faithful in Dallas on Saturday night, close to where Deason runs his financial office. Deason has supported Trump and the GOP with hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years but thinks Trump has a lot to lose by running again

Trump appeared before the conservative faithful in Dallas on Saturday night, close to where Deason runs his financial office. Deason has supported Trump and the GOP with hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years but thinks Trump has a lot to lose by running again

Deason said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis would do a wonderful job in the White House. And he said voters would be getting a 'twofer' with his wife Casey who is closely involved in her husband's campaign and acts as a powerful advocate for his policies

Deason said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis would do a wonderful job in the White House. And he said voters would be getting a ‘twofer’ with his wife Casey who is closely involved in her husband’s campaign and acts as a powerful advocate for his policies

Trump retains a strong hold on the grassroots of the Republican Party.

So Deason’s comments will be seen as a hint to the former president that powerful party backers would rather see him step aside rather than risk defeat. 

Deason was a key player in helping Trump secure Texas. He was co-chair of the state’s Trump Victory fund in 2020 and in 2016 he and his father Darwin Deason donated more than $900,000 to help elect Trump and other Republicans.

This time around, he said he was not turning his back on Trump, who he said would still likely win the Republican nomination if he decided to run. 

But he talked up the appeal of DeSantis and his wife Casey. 

‘I think Ron DeSantis would be Donald Trump without all the baggage.

‘I mean Donald J. Trump had the best policies of any president in my lifetime, including President Reagan. 

‘But you know he could be petty about things, and he wouldn’t let things go. And you know, you love it and hate it.’

Deason has held fundraisers for DeSantis as he campaigns for another term as Florida governor. 

43-year-old DeSantis’s emergence on the national scene has triggered talk that he could represent a changing of the generational guard. 

His efforts to keep Florida open through the pandemic and his leading role in the nation’s culture wars have kept him in the headlines.

Deason (centre) campaigns on criminal justice reform, and advised President Trump on the issue. He was co-chair of the Texas Trump Victory campaign in 2020 and is a friend of Don Jr

Deason (centre) campaigns on criminal justice reform, and advised President Trump on the issue. He was co-chair of the Texas Trump Victory campaign in 2020 and is a friend of Don Jr

Trump retains a hold on the base of the party. And merchandise bearing his name or likeness dominated the exhibitor stands at the CPAC Texas conference in Dallas

Trump retains a hold on the base of the party. And merchandise bearing his name or likeness dominated the exhibitor stands at the CPAC Texas conference in Dallas 

Trump cutouts are used to sell conservative cellphone plans at CPAC Texas in Dallas

Trump cutouts are used to sell conservative cellphone plans at CPAC Texas in Dallas

As a result, polls consistently place him second to Trump (albeit a distant one) when Republicans are asked who they want as their nominee in 2024.

Deason, who advised Trump on criminal justice reform, said DeSantis would be a more inclusive leader.

‘He’ll sit and listen and let people engage, and he won’t dominate a conversation,’ he said, contrasting that approach with Trump. 

‘I think Ron would be a wonderful president.’

And he comes as part of a package, he said. 

‘I think Melania was a wonderful first lady but she didn’t get the respect that she deserved. 

‘Casey DeSantis is classy. She’s a beautiful spokesperson for him. She’s intimately involved in his campaigns. 

‘You’re getting a twofer is what you’re getting with them.’

If Trump runs, continued Deason, he would win the primary but his risks losing the general election because of his continuing claims that the 2020 ballot was rigged.

‘You know, it doesn’t even matter. It’s totally irrelevant,’ he said.

‘If it was stolen there’s no remedy. There never was a repair to fix that. 

‘And so whether it’s stolen or not, whatever you believe, it’s doesn’t matter. He’s just got to stop talking about it.’

On Saturday, Trump received a boost from attendees at CPAC Texas in Dallas. An unscientific straw poll of grassroots conservatives found that he remains the most popular candidate. 

In fact the result showed that he had increased his lead over DeSantis from a straw poll conducted in February in Florida (DeSantis’ home ground).

Conservatives release the results of their straw poll at CPAC Texas on Saturday. If Trump does not run, DeSantis would be their overwhelming choice

Conservatives release the results of their straw poll at CPAC Texas on Saturday. If Trump does not run, DeSantis would be their overwhelming choice

The results show Trump strengthening his grip on the conservative grass roots. He increased his lead over second place DeSantis to 45 points since the last poll was done in February

The results show Trump strengthening his grip on the conservative grass roots. He increased his lead over second place DeSantis to 45 points since the last poll was done in February

‘So you know how the mainstream media has been telling us his you know, influence in the party is waning,’ said pollster Jim McLaughlin as he unveiled the results. ‘Not at all. 

‘As a matter of fact, what’s happening is he’s more popular than ever.’

However, other recent polls – of a broader slice of the party – suggests about half of Republicans are ready to move on and pick another candidate.

And Trump showed no signs of giving up his election fraud claims during his speech to the conference. He again claimed he had won the 2020 election while teasing a possible 2024 run.

I ran twice. I won twice and did much better the second time than I did the first getting millions and millions of more votes than in 2016 and likewise getting more votes than any sitting president in the history of our country by far,’ he said to wild applause.

‘And now we may have to do it again.’

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk