decision 2024

Trump meets privately with former GOP rival Ron DeSantis

The Florida governor plans to help the former president with fundraising, sources said.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Former President Donald Trump met privately over breakfast with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Sunday, six sources said.

The meeting was described as "nice" and "friendly" by one of the sources, who added that DeSantis plans to help raise money for Trump. A separate source said the meeting was mutually agreed upon and arranged by Steven Witkoff, the chairman of a real estate company, who is a mutual contact of the two men.

However, a Trump campaign official told NBC News that DeSantis reached out to Trump’s team through Witkoff two weeks ago to set up a meeting to “bury the hatchet” and discuss fundraising.

The meeting, which was first reported by The Washington Post, took place in Florida. DeSantis was golfing at Shell Bay Club, a golf club near Miami, where Trump joined him for breakfast.

DeSantis told donors and supporters during a private retreat in April that he planned to help raise money for Trump's campaign, NBC News first reported.

Just months ago, DeSantis slammed Trump during the bitter Republican primary contest, referring to him as a candidate running on personal issues.

"If he’s running for personal retribution, that is not going to lead to what we need as a country,” DeSantis in December in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"You got to be running for the American people and their issues, not about your own personal issues, and that is a distinction between us," he continued.

Separately, DeSantis has said that "the swamp was not drained" during Trump's term. He has also criticized Trump over his stance on abortion, telling a radio show that "all pro-lifers should know that he’s preparing to sell you out."

After he suspended his campaign just days before the New Hampshire primary, DeSantis endorsed Trump, arguing that "we can’t go back to the old Republican guard of yesteryear, a repackaged form of warmed-over corporatism that Nikki Haley represents.”

Trump has not yet selected a running mate, but DeSantis has long said he would not seek the vice presidency.

“I don’t want to be VP. I don’t want to be in the Cabinet. I don’t want a TV show,” DeSantis said in January, before he dropped out. “I’m in it to win it.”

He put the message in starker terms the previous month, saying, “I can tell you under any circumstance, I will not accept” the vice presidential nomination.

This article first appeared on Read more from NBC News here:

Copyright NBC News
Contact Us