California Gov. Gavin Newsom has attracted attention for bashing everyone from Fox News commentators to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
However, the California Democrat seems to have refrained from bashing at least one rival: former President Donald Trump.
And Trump has noticed.
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Trump discussed his familiarity with Newsom on Tuesday during an interview on Fox News.
“I used to get along great with him, you know, when I was president,” Trump said, prompting visible disbelief from Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson. “You know I got along really good [with] Gavin.”
“Wait,” Carlson interrupted. “You got along with Gavin Newsom?”
“I did. I really did. He was always very nice to me. He said the greatest things. He would say things like, ‘He’s doing a great job.’ About me! That’s why I could never hit him. Because he was so nice to me.”
According to his past interactions with Newsom, the former president is telling the truth.
In 2020, the California governor met with Trump to discuss recovery from California’s wildfires.
“Your administration just entered into a first-of-its-type commitment over the next 20 years to double our vegetation management and forest management. I want to thank you for supporting that effort, funding that effort,” Newsom said, offering some surprising praise.
“We are fully committed to working with you to advance that cause. We’ve known each other too long, and, as you suggest, the working relationship I value.”
Trump said, “That’s right.”
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Newsom prioritized his “working relationship” with the former president even when disagreeing about the greenhouse effect.
“We obviously feel very strongly that the hots are getting hotter, the dries are getting drier,” Newsom continued. “I think there’s an area of at least commonality on vegetation, forest management, but please respect — and I know you do — the difference of opinion out here, as it relates to this fundamental issue on the issue of climate change.”
“Absolutely,” Trump responded. “I appreciate that.”
“There’s not one phone call that I have made to the President, where he hasn’t quickly responded [and] in almost every instance, he’s responded favorably in terms of addressing the emergency needs of the state,” Newsom told CalMatters at the time, referring to an agreement about how to manage California’s vast landscape of federal ground.
“He may make statements publicly, but the working relationship privately has been a very effective one.”
The New York Times described the former president as acting “exceedingly polite” with the governor.
Take a look —
Interesting exchange here about Newsom:
Trump: "I used to get along great with him (Gavin Newsom) when I was president. We got along really good."
Tucker: "Wait, you got along with Gavin Newsom?!"
Trump: "I did. I really did. He was always very nice to me. He said the greatest… pic.twitter.com/GBSWvZi8nf
— Justin Hart (@justin_hart) April 12, 2023
President Trump and California Gov. Gavin Newsom strongly disagree on the role that climate change plays in the devastating wildfires. But on Monday, they were exceedingly polite about it. https://t.co/zThEsy5ePb pic.twitter.com/khLAfxC6O4
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 14, 2020
Newsom has amassed a long history with the Trump family.
In the 2000s, Newsom was an obscure politician in San Francisco’s municipal government. At the time, the future governor was married to Kimberly Guilfoyle. Guilfoyle is a former star of Fox News and the current fiancee of Donald Trump Jr.
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Guilfoyle and Newsom have offered differing accounts of the reasons for their divorce.
“She fell prey, I think, to the culture at Fox in a deep way,” Newsom reportedly said on a podcast in February. “She was a different person [during the marriage]. She was working for a progressive district attorney… We were close to Kamala [Harris], she knew her well, and she was spending a lot of time in Democratic circles.”
Guilfoyle hit back.
“Gavin knows this. I didn’t change. He did,” Guilfoyle reportedly said on the radio at the time.
“He used to be so proud to fight for small businesses, for entrepreneurs, for those hard-working men and women, and he’s fallen prey to the left — the radical left that is pushing him so far to the left that it’s unrecognizable.”
Newsom’s past has tied him to the Trump family… but he may be planning a future, too.
The governor has denied any plans to run for the White House in 2024. However, he’s still stirring speculation, and Trump is already running.
In other words, a match between Newsom and Trump looks unlikely… but not impossible.
Never forget that Kimberly Guilfoyle and her then-husband Gavin Newsom posed on a rug for a Harper's Bazaar story calling them "The New Kennedys." pic.twitter.com/0QxMdNv4Bw
— Ellie Hall (@ellievhall) August 25, 2020