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Trump meets privately with former Republican rival Ron DeSantis

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

The meeting was described as “nice” and “friendly” by one of the sources, who added that DeSantis plans to 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 had contacted Trump’s team through Witkoff two weeks ago to set up a meeting to “bury the hatchet” and discuss fundraising.

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

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

Several months ago, DeSantis blasted Trump during the bitter Republican primaries, referring to him as a candidate concerned with personal issues.

“If he runs for office for personal retaliation, it will not lead to what we need as a country,” DeSantis said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” in December.

“You have to run for office for the American people and their problems, not for your own personal problems, and that’s what differentiates us,” he continued.

Separately, DeSantis has said that “the swamp was not drained” during Trump’s term. He has also criticized Trump for his stance on abortion, saying on a radio program that “all pro-lifers should know that he is preparing to sell you out.”

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

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

“I don’t want to be vice president. I don’t want to be in the cabinet. I don’t want a TV show,” DeSantis said in January before quitting. “I’m in it to win.”

He put the message in sharper terms the month before, saying: “I can tell you under any circumstances that I will not accept the vice presidential nomination.”