Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis
Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis AFP

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump met with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for the first time since their testy feud during the party's short-lived primaries.

Different media reports described efforts to put aside their differences shown during the party's electoral competition and start working on a strategy to increase its chances of prevailing in the November elections.

A Trump campaign official said that the meeting was "set at the request of governor DeSantis." Both reportedly met for several hours, their main focus being the need to narrow the fundraising gap that President Joe Biden and Democrats currently have.

The Florida governor could help Trump in this area, as he has developed an extensive donor network throughout his years in state and national politics. He also stands to gain by recovering his image among Republicans after a bruising primary in which his hopes faded quickly.

"He is widely viewed among Republican donors and consultants as weakened after a shellacking by Trump in the primary," the Washington Post said, also noting that the governor hasn't ruled out a presidential run in 2028.

DeSantis dropped out after the Iowa caucus, his chances slim-to-none despite being once considered a serious challenger to Trump. The presumptive nominee, however, used his popularity and dominant stance with the Republican base to hammer DeSantis (whom he called "DeSanctimonious") and quash any hopes of taking over the party's leadership.

"It's a great development and makes perfect sense for Trump, DeSantis and all Republicans," said Roy Bailey, one of three finance chairs for Mr DeSantis' primary campaign.

"Gov DeSantis had a really strong volunteer finance team and if we could plug that in and help Trump then that's what we need to do – and want to do. It's important to all get together and row in the same direction," he added.

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