A top spokesperson for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis publicly battled with former President Donald Trump’s defenders on Twitter over what she called the ex-president’s “Soviet dystopian” plan for American cities.
The spat began after Christina Pushaw, rapid response director for DeSantis’ campaign, took issue with Trump’s recent proposal to build up to ten new American cities on federal land featuring plentiful single-family homes and even flying cars.
Pushaw tweeted a claim that Trump’s so-called “Freedom Cities” plan was inspired by the World Economic Forum and would amount to “15-minute cities on federal lands,” referring to the urban planning concept in which people live within a 15-minute walk or bike ride of most daily necessities.
Some conservatives and conspiracy theorists have claimed the urban planning principle is actually a plot devised by global elites to restrict individual freedoms. Some have targeted a vague project by the World Economic Forum called “The Great Reset” that aims to support sustainability and fight climate change.
The Trump War Room twitter account, which is run by Trump aides, called Pushaw’s claim “cuckoo,” defended Freedom Cities as “the opposite of globalism,” and accused DeSantis of siding with the “WEF, Obama, Biden, Hillary, and Paul Ryan” on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.
Trump “put forward a vision for cities with ultra-low regs and no leftist insanity, to serve as centers for reshoring manufacturing,” the account wrote. “You have to lie about Pres. Trump’s ideas because Ron has no original ideas of his own.”
Spokespeople for Trump’s 2024 campaign didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
—Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) May 31, 2023
Pushaw responded by asking why Trump wouldn’t support bringing manufacturing back to US cities that already exist. She then echoed the conspiracy theory that 15-minute cities are an attempt to strip residents of their cars and freedom of movement and trap them in a dystopian surveillance state.
“Conservatives don’t want to live in centrally planned, federally constructed ’15 minute cities.’ This is Soviet dystopian nonsense,” she tweeted. “For those of us who like cities at all, we want to restore our once-great American cities to be safe, clean, orderly, and productive again.”
She added, “Centrally planned government-constructed cities remind me of former communist countries I’ve lived in. It’s a WEF-inspired initiative to cut down on energy / carbon & stop humans from moving freely across spaces.”
Pushaw didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Pushaw isn’t the first conservative to take issue with Trump’s far-reaching proposal. Tea Party activist Sonnie Johnson argued on Fox News earlier this year that Trump’s “leftist plan” is a “a Green Deal initiative made to cut down on energy and stop humans from having the ability to move freely across spaces.”
A Republican consultant close to Trump’s campaign told Insider in March that Trump came up with the idea for Freedom Cities himself and was likely inspired by Saudi Arabia‘s futuristic desert cities.
“Trump sees the Saudis investing a lot of money, you know, why don’t we create something similar like that in the US?” he told Insider, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “That’s just the way his brain works.”