Donald Trump feud with evangelical leader escalates after blistering response

Urbandale, Iowa - Donald Trump's ongoing feud with prominent evangelical Bob Vander Plaats got its latest chapter after the Family Leader CEO hit back in a pair of withering posts on X.

Family Leader CEO Bob Vander Plaats hit back at ex-President Donald Trump with a series of X posts.
Family Leader CEO Bob Vander Plaats hit back at ex-President Donald Trump with a series of X posts.  © Collage: USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Connect & JIM VONDRUSKA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

On Saturday, Trump responded in typical style to news that the influential Republican activist was endorsing Ron DeSantis as the GOP's nominee for the 2024 presidential election.

"Bob Vander Plaats, the former High School Accountant from Iowa, will do anything to win, something which he hasn't done in many years," Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform.

"I don't believe anything Bob Vander Plaats says," he continued. "Anyone who would take $95,000, and then endorse a Candidate who is going nowhere, is not what Elections are all about!"

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Vander Plaats, whose organization brings encompasses several conservative groups and political action committees, didn't let the attack go unanswered and responded mockingly on X, saying: "[Trump] is the only candidate…EVER…who thought my endorsement would be for sale."

Calling the ex-president a "chump," Vander Plaats went on to insist that "person after person" in Iowa told him they were turning away from Trump.

"While they long to leave the topic of 'golden showers' and return to the discussion of gold standards, The final straw…his lies about [Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds]," he added.

Earlier this month, Trump launched a similar attack on Reynolds, who also dared to endorse DeSantis over him.

Vander Plaats' "golden showers" quip is a reference to an infamous dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. The dossier contained lurid allegations about Trump, including supposed encounters with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel.

Cover photo: Collage: USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Connect & JIM VONDRUSKA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

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