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Trump pours cold water on DeSantis serving in his Cabinet

Donald Trump has downplayed the prospect of having former political rival Ron DeSantis become part of his Cabinet, should he regain the presidency in 2024.

The former president who, in a strange turn of events, recently hailed the Florida Governor as a “terrific person” said it was “highly unlikely” that Mr DeSantis would join him, should he return to the Oval Office.

It comes after Mr DeSantis dropped out of the race to win the Republican presidential candidate nomination on Sunday. In a message posted on X, he said he could not see a “clear path to victory” and that it was “clear” that voters wanted to give Mr Trump “another chance”.

Mr Trump – who has blasted Mr DeSantis throughout his campaign, with nicknames including “Ron DeSanctimonious” and “Meatball Ron” – changed his tune on Sunday, congratulating the governor on a “great campaign”.

Speaking at a rally in New Hampshire, he said: “Before we begin I’d like to take time to congratulate Ron DeSantis and of course a really terrific person… for having run a great campaign for president.

Mr DeSantis dropped out of the race to win the Republican presidential candidate nomination on Sunday (Ron DeSantis)
Mr DeSantis dropped out of the race to win the Republican presidential candidate nomination on Sunday (Ron DeSantis)

“He really did. He ran a really good campaign, I will tell you. It’s not easy. They think it’s easy doing this stuff, right? It’s not easy. As you know he left the campaign trail today at 3pm and in so doing he was very gracious and he endorsed me, so I appreciate it.

“I appreciate that and I also look forward to working with Ron to defeat crooked Joe Biden, we have to get him out.”

But speaking to Fox & Friends later that day he said it was “unlikely” that he would ask Mr DeSantis to serve in his second administration.

“It’s probably unlikely,” Mr Trump said. “But I have to be honest: Everything’s a possibility, but I think it’s highly unlikely. I have a lot of great people, and I have great people that have been with me right from the beginning.”

Mr Trump added that Mr DeSantis had not asked for a position in a possible administration.

“Well, you know, I endorsed him [for governor]. I didn’t know him as well as you might think, but I did endorse him,” Mr Trump told Fox.

Mr Trump also said it was ‘highly unlikely’ former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley would end up serving in a second administration (AP)
Mr Trump also said it was ‘highly unlikely’ former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley would end up serving in a second administration (AP)

“And I had some fun with it, because I watched somebody who was not in the race, and all of a sudden he was in the race. And then he did a good job as governor. So, I was happy with that.

“But I was disappointed when they asked him whether or not he’d run. And he said, ‘I have no comment.’ Because, to me, when you say no comment, that means you’re running.”

Mr Trump also said it was “highly unlikely” former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley – his only significant remaining rival for the GOP nomination – would end up serving in a second administration.

The former president has opened up an 11 percentage point lead over Ms Haley, ahead of Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, according to the latest poll from CNN and the University of New Hampshire.