President Trump is calling reports claiming he wanted his daughter Ivanka Trump to be his 2016 running mate “ridiculous.”
“Now Fake News @CNN is actually reporting that I wanted my daughter, Ivanka, to run with me as my Vice President in 2016 Election. Wrong and totally ridiculous,” the president said on Twitter shortly before midnight Monday. “These people are sick!”
CNN reported about the vice president story based on earlier reporting by Bloomberg News and the Washington Post.
Both publications cited information contained in a new book, “Wicked Game,” being released on Oct. 13 by Trump’s former deputy campaign manager Rick Gates.
According to Gates’ book, top campaign aides in June 2016 were considering who Trump, then the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, should pick as his running mate.
“I think it should be Ivanka. What about Ivanka as my VP?” Trump allegedly asked the group, adding “She’s bright, she’s smart, she’s beautiful, and the people would love her!”
Gates claims Trump continued to press for his eldest daughter, who then was a fashion company executive, to run as his vice president and appeared cool to picking then-Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, even after the campaign team polled the idea twice.
Ivanka Trump finally put an end to the conjecture when she told her father that it wouldn’t be a good idea.
The Trump campaign shot down the story when it was first reported last week.
“This is not true and there was never any such poll,” Tim Murtaugh, the campaign’s communication director, said.
Ivanka Trump, like her husband, Jared Kushner, are both senior White House aides, and the first daughter has been playing a major role in her father’s 2020 campaign.
Gates, an associate of former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, pleaded guilty in February 2018 to lying to federal investigators about lobbying work he and Manafort did with Ukraine before joining the Trump campaign.
He was sentenced to 45 days in prison, but the term was suspended in April because of the coronavirus.
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