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Friday, May 24, 2024

Trump and DeSantis Meet Amid Speculation and Political Maneuvering

Former President Donald J. Trump and Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida convened on Sunday morning, marking their first encounter since the conclusion of a contentious Republican presidential primary that saw Trump emerge victorious after fiercely targeting DeSantis.

The meeting, reportedly held in Hollywood, Fla., was orchestrated by Steve Witkoff, a longtime friend of Trump and a real estate investor with ties to DeSantis. The three men convened privately at Shell Bay, a development and golf club owned by Witkoff.

Trump’s objective in the meeting was to bolster his fundraising efforts, an area where DeSantis has demonstrated prowess, particularly during the primary by tapping into a network of well-heeled donors. Meanwhile, DeSantis, who has expressed interest in a potential 2028 presidential bid, sought to distance himself from the negative fallout of his lackluster primary campaign.

While the meeting was first reported by The Washington Post, representatives for Trump and DeSantis declined to comment on the matter.

However, despite their meeting, DeSantis is not considered a viable running mate for Trump in any future presidential bid. Legal and logistical constraints, including Trump’s status as the presumptive Republican nominee and his ongoing trial in Manhattan, preclude such a partnership. Additionally, both men reside in Florida, making it constitutionally untenable for them to share a ticket unless one relocates, an unlikely scenario given DeSantis’ current role as governor.

During the primary campaign, DeSantis emerged as Trump’s primary intra-party rival, drawing the former president’s ire and becoming the focal point of Trump’s attacks. Trump famously dubbed him “Ron DeSanctimonious” and lambasted him for perceived disloyalty. In return, DeSantis criticized Trump’s electability and faced accusations of mismanagement throughout his campaign.

Despite recent interactions, including a donor event hosted by DeSantis coinciding with a large fundraiser for Trump, tensions persist. Trump reportedly resurrected the “DeSanctimonious” moniker during his fundraiser, underscoring the lingering animosity between the two camps.

Nevertheless, allies of both Trump and DeSantis view their collaboration as politically advantageous, particularly as they navigate the landscape of the 2024 presidential campaign and beyond. While their personal and ideological differences may persist, strategic cooperation serves their broader political objectives.

As speculation swirls around Trump’s future in politics and DeSantis’ aspirations for higher office, their meeting signals a potential alignment of interests, albeit within the confines of their individual ambitions and the realities of legal and logistical constraints.

Whether their alliance will endure remains to be seen, but for now, Trump and DeSantis appear willing to set aside past grievances in pursuit of their respective political goals.

Jonathan James
Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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