Former President Donald J. Trump is set to hold a Fourth of July-themed rally on Saturday night in Sarasota, Fla., across the state from where a tragedy has been unfolding for more than a week as firefighters, search dogs and emergency crews search for survivors in the collapse of a residential building just north of Miami Beach.
The planned political rally in the midst of a disaster that has horrified the nation has become a topic of discussion among aides to the former president and Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, a Trump ally whose growing popularity with the former president’s supporters is becoming an increasing source of tension for both men, according to people familiar with their thinking.
After officials from the governor’s office surveyed the scene of the condominium collapse in Surfside, Fla., Adrian Lukis, chief of staff to the governor, called Michael Glassner, a longtime Trump aide who is overseeing the Florida event, according to people familiar with the discussion. In a brief conversation, Mr. Lukis inquired whether the former president planned to continue with the event given the scale of the tragedy, two people said.
He was told there were no plans to reschedule.
A spokeswoman for Mr. Trump, Liz Harrington, said that the rally in Sarasota was “three-and-a-half hours away, approximately the same distance from Boston to New York, and will not impact any of the recovery efforts.”
the Washington Examiner reported that Mr. DeSantis had pointedly asked Mr. Trump to delay his rally.