Trump and family meet with Vice President finalists
Trump posted on Twitter Wednesday evening that he would reveal his choice at 11 a.m. Friday in Manhattan
Republican Donald Trump on Wednesday entered the final phase of his high-profile search for a running mate, arranging last-minute meetings with his finalists and family members as his staff prepares for a Friday announcement.
Trump posted on Twitter Wednesday evening that he would reveal his choice at 11 a.m. Friday in Manhattan. The presumptive GOP presidential nominee, his adult children and key staffers huddled with prospects earlier in the day.
He began Wednesday with breakfast at the residence of one, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Wednesday morning, a day after the pair campaigned together in the state. They were joined by Trump's three adult children, along with his son-and-law and campaign chair Paul Manafort, who were seen leaving the residence.
Hours later, Newt Gingrich, another finalist, was seen with Trump’s entourage at a downtown Indianapolis hotel. Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, who has been advising Trump, was spotted arriving at the same hotel not long after Gingrich left.
Trump's family, including Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, also met privately with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Tuesday. The meeting was confirmed by a source with direct knowledge of the meeting, but was not authorized to discuss it publicly.
The meetings have been designed to let Trump’s family get to know the candidates better before the presumptive nominee formalizes his decision.
Trump had originally planned to fly back from Indiana with Pence following a rally Tuesday night, but his plane was grounded by mechanical issues, so Trump’s kids flew to join them in Indiana, another person familiar with his movements but not authorized to discuss them said.
“It was a late plan,” Pence told reporters later Wednesday. “I was hauling dishes from the cupboard at midnight. (Pence’s wife) Karen laid out a nice spread.”
Indiana is a state with particular significance for the presumptive GOP nominee: It’s where he effectively locked up the GOP nomination with a commanding primary win that drove former rival Ted Cruz from the race.
Pence, Christie and Gingrich were said to be the final contenders for vice presidential candidate on the Republican ticket less than a week before the GOP meets in Cleveland for the formal nomination. That's according to a person familiar with Trump’s thinking, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss the vetting process.
Trump said in a Tuesday interview with The Wall Street Journal that Sessions, Trump’s top Senate advocate, is also still in the mix.
Gingrich said Wednesday night he believes it’s down to two contenders: him and Pence. “I suspect sometime tomorrow that Mike and I will both get phone calls and one of us will be packing our bags to go to New York and the other one will be going to watch it on TV,” Gingrich said on Fox News Channel's Hannity.
Trump appeared reluctant to commit Wednesday. “I’m narrowing it down. I mean I’m at three, potentially four. But in my own mind, I probably am thinking about two,” he told Fox’s Bret Baier.