Trump whittles down VP picks – here’s the frontrunners

Trump whittles down VP picks - here’s the frontrunners

Donald Trump says he has picked his vice president after a report revealed he was focusing on four potential candidates earlier this month.

Trump has picked his running mate but ”nobody knows” who it is yet, he told reporters at a campaign event on Saturday. The former president said his pick will be attending the first presidential debate on June 27.

Trump said he will likely announce his candidate at the Republican National Convention next month, where he will be named the GOP presidential nominee.

Earlier this month, Trump had received vetting materials from some of his vice presidential candidates, sources told NBC News. The report came just days after a Manhattan jury found Trump guilty of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

A source told the outlet that the search concentrated on North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and US Senators Marco Rubio of Florida, Tim Scott of South Carolina, and JD Vance of Ohio. Another insider told NBC News at the time that it was down to a three-way battle between Burgum, Rubio, and Vance.

Governor Doug Burgum of North Dakota listens as former US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the end of the day’s proceedings in his criminal trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 14, 2024 (Getty Images)

However, an insider source told the New York Post a week after the NBC News report that Scott was likely axed from the list.

“I think it is extremely unlikely he will be picked,” the unnamed source told the outlet. “You go down the list of reasons to choose a VP and he isn’t a standout or game changer in any category.” Another source told the outlet Scott’s “star has become less bright for sure.”

NBC News stated it is not known which of the potential running mates has been asked to provide vetting material to the campaign.

Trump has said little about what he is looking for in a running mate but has spoken positively about several names. Pundits have speculated that he wants someone loyal, who can raise money and does well on television.

At a May Mar-a-Lago gathering, Trump had a closed-door furndraiser featuring many vice president contenders. The next day, several were out campaigning for Trump.

“This weekend, we had 15 people. … They’re all out there campaigning,” Trump told Spectrum News 1 in Wisconsin days later, according to the Associated Press. “It might actually be more effective this way because, you know, every one of them thinks they could be chosen, which I guess possibly is so.”

Sen. Marco Rubio talks to members of the media as he walks to the Senate chamber at the US Capitol on April 23, 2024 in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

Trump became the first president in US history to be prosecuted when his hush money trial got underway in Manhattan on April 15.

He was convicted by the New York jury on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to a hush money payment to adult film actor Stormy Daniels.

Trump is set to be sentenced in New York on July 11, just four days before he becomes the official Republican nominee for president at the GOP convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Tim Scott appears with Donald Trump at the State Fairgrounds on February 24, 2024 in Columbia, South Carolina (Getty Images)

Mike Pence was nominated by Trump just days before the party’s 2016 convention in Cleveland.

Other names to be considered include South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, Representatives Elise Stefanik of New York and Byron Donalds of Florida, and Ben Carson, who served in Trump’s cabinet as Housing and Urban Development Secretary.

Sen. JD Vance looks on as former President Donald Trump speaks to the media during Trump’s trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 13, 2024 in New York City (Getty Images)

Noem was seen as a strong candidate until she published her autobiography in which she recounted shooting her dog Cricket to death and dumping the animal’s body in a gravel pit.

However, Noem told NBC News on June 23 she hasn’t been vetted to be Trump’s vice president.

“I haven’t received any paperwork,” she said. “I’ve had conversations with the president, and I know that he is the only one who will be making the decisions on who will be his vice president.”

The Independent has reached out to the Trump campaign for comment.