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Trump Campaign Formally Begins Vetting Process for Select Potential Vice Presidential Candidates: Report

President Donald Trump has reportedly initiated the formal vetting process for potential vice presidential candidates.

Sources close to NBC News reveal that a select group of high-profile conservatives has been approached to submit vetting paperwork.

Former chairwoman of the Tea Party Express, Amy Kramer, wrote on X that among those who have been approached by the campaign for vetting paperwork include:

  • Doug Burgum
  • Ben Carson
  • Byron Donalds
  • Marco Rubio
  • Tim Scott
  • Elise Stefanik
  • J.D. Vance

According to NBC, citing one source, Trump’s vice presidential search is focused primarily on four leading candidates: North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and Senators Marco Rubio of Florida, Tim Scott of South Carolina, and JD Vance of Ohio. Another source mentioned a three-way contest among Burgum, Rubio, and Vance.

More from the news outlet:

It’s unclear, though, who all has been asked to provide vetting details that could rule them in or out. Burgum, who has been spending more time with Trump in recent weeks, is among those who have received a request, said one source familiar with the ask. Advisers to Burgum and other would-be running mates declined or did not respond to requests for comment this week.

Sources plugged into conversations about the search cautioned that Trump is working from a fluid shortlist that at times includes more than a half-dozen names. Additions, subtractions and the emergence of dark-horse candidates remain possible.

Others who have been mentioned as prospective running mates include South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Reps. Elise Stefanik of New York and Byron Donalds of Florida and Ben Carson, who served as the Trump administration’s Housing and Urban Development secretary.

The discreet outreach by campaign officials picked up pace last month, even as Trump was embroiled in his criminal hush-money trial, ABC reported.

“Anyone claiming to know who or when President Trump will choose his VP is lying, unless the person is named Donald J. Trump,” stated Brian Hughes, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign.

According to AP,  Trump plans to make his VP announcement closer to the Republican National Convention, scheduled for July.

President Trump has mentioned Tim Scott twice this year.

In a February 2024 interview with Maria Bartiromo, Trump discussed his selection criteria for a vice-presidential candidate.

When asked by Bartiromo about who he is considering for the role, Trump spoke highly of Tim Scott, praising him for his recent performances in defending Trump’s policies and positions.

“You know, I called Tim Scott, and I told him you’re a much better candidate for me than you are for yourself,” Trump said.

He further complimented Scott, saying, “When I watched Tim, he was fine, he was good, but he was very low-key… I watched him in the last week standing up for me, fighting for me. And I said: you are a much better person for me than you are for yourself. He’s been a real tiger. He’s been incredible.”

During his town hall on Fox News, he praised Senator Tim Scott, who was in the audience, for his support and effectiveness.

“Well, always the first quality has to be somebody that you think will be a good president because if something should happen, you have to have somebody that’s going to be a great president. A lot of people are talking about that gentleman right over there [Tim Scott]. He has been much better for me than he was for himself. I watched his campaign, and he doesn’t like talking about himself, but, boy, does he talk about Trump. I called him. I said, “Tim, you’re better for me than you were for yourself.” He’s a fantastic person,” Trump said.

Last month, Senator Tim Scott fueled speculation about his potential vice-presidential candidacy alongside former President Donald Trump in the upcoming presidential election.

During an interview with Eric Bolling, Scott teases that he could be Trump’s no. 2.

“Let me put it this way. Senator, I would love to moderate a debate with you, but I have a hunch that there might be a vice-presidential debate. I don’t know, maybe Kamala Harris will be debating Senator Tim Scott on that one, and I would be honored to moderate that one,” said Bolling.

“I hear there’s a debate in July. If you’re the guy moderating, maybe I’ll be talking to you. We’ll see what happens,” Scott said.

“You and I both agree that America is the greatest country because anyone from anywhere can rise to the place of having this conversation. I thank God that we, the United States of America, will continue to be the greatest land on the planet, but we need a new president, and that’s Donald Trump,” Scott added.

Bolling then asked again to confirm, “And a new vice president, and is it you?”

Scott responded, “We’ll see. We’ll see.”

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