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Ron DeSantis now expected to speak at Republican convention

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Posted at 1:54 PM, Jul 10, 2024

(CNN) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a onetime Donald Trump political foe turned endorser, is now expected to speak at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee next week despite previously being given no role at the event, a source familiar with the plans told CNN.

It is unclear which night DeSantis is expected to deliver his remarks, the source added.

The decision came shortly after CNN reported Tuesday that DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, another Trump primary rival, had been left out of the program, sparking backlash from their supporters.

A senior DeSantis official told CNN the governor’s team had always been told he would have a speaking slot at the convention and had not been told differently.

A separate source familiar with the matter, however, said a DeSantis speaking role came into serious consideration within past 24 hours.

NBC News was first to report on DeSantis’ role at the convention.

Trump and DeSantis, who fiercely attacked one another during the GOP presidential primary, have made an effort to put their personal history behind them in recent months.

DeSantis, who ended his presidential campaign in January and immediately endorsed Trump, met with the former president in Florida in April and told donors and supporters he would help fundraise for Trump.

Trump’s team is also currently discussing whether to invite Haley to the convention next week.

On Tuesday, Haley announced that she was releasing her delegates to the convention and urging them to support Trump. However, her spokeswoman told CNN that Haley was not invited and that the former governor was “fine with that.”

“Trump deserves the convention he wants. She’s made it clear she’s voting for him and wishes him the best,” spokeswoman Chaney Denton said.

Two sources familiar with the discussions told CNN that an invitation may be extended to Haley after all and that such planning was still being worked out.

Haley made clear in a May speech that she would vote for Trump, and the two spoke last month.

Trump told Fox News Radio on Wednesday that he would “take a look” at potentially inviting Haley to speak at the convention. But he noted that “there was a lot of bad blood there” during their bitter primary fight, which ended with Haley dropping out in March.

CNN’s Kit Maher and Kate Sullivan contributed to this report.

The-CNN-Wire
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