In an exclusive interview, former President Donald Trump shared criteria he would use in determining his running mate and offered scintillating details about two candidates under consideration.
Speaking with Fox News’s Maria Bartiromo on Sunday, the Republican frontrunner praised his party for offering so many talented aspirants while revealing that he has reached out to South Carolina Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and keeps South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem top of mind when thinking about who he’d like to see as vice president next year.
“We have a lot of really good people… I have a lot of good ideas,” Trump told Bartiromo.
“So you haven’t told that person,” she replied.
“I speak to everybody. I speak to everybody. You know I called Tim Scott. A lot of people like Tim Scott. I called him and I said, ‘You are a much better candidate for me than you are for yourself,'” Trump said. “When I watched Tim, he was fine, he was good, but he was very low-key, et cetera, et cetera. I watched him in the last week defending me and sticking up for me and fighting for me… For me, he’s been a real tiger.”
Noem, he added, has responded with equal vigor when challenged to defend the Trump record.
“Kristi Noem has been incredible fighting for me. She said, ‘I’d never run against him because I can’t beat him.’ That was a very nice thing to say,'” he added.
Last week, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., an independent presidential candidate who previously campaigned as a Democrat, claimed President Trump’s team contacted him about joining the ticket. While it was an honor to be considered, he said, he won’t be exiting the campaign field any time soon.
“I would not take that job. And I’m flattered that President Trump would offer it to me, but it’s not something that I’m interested in,” RFK told NewsNation.
Trump dismissed the report.
“It’s a false story. False story… I like him a lot. Nope, never happened,” Trump told Bartiromo.
The vice presidential slot is not the only one where Trump will be tasked with considering former campaign rivals. Others, like Vivek Ramaswamy, have appeared on the trail with him and stoked speculation that he is angling for a cabinet post in a new Trump administration.
Later in his interview, President Trump reflected on the difficulties of being an outsider in Washington and relying on “sick” people to recommend staff appointments that he later came to regret.
“Your critics say you had plenty of personnel mistakes,” Bartiromo challenged him.
“No of course, but everybody does,” Trump replied. “Obama had. What about Biden? Look at the people running this Biden thing. The difference is I fired people” like former FBI Director James Comey.
“I didn’t fire people I would’ve, but I fired a lot of people. I had turnover. They have no turnover right now.”
Asked how he would prevent similar personnel mistakes from plaguing his second term as president, President Trump said he would be pushing back against those with ulterior motives destined to be around him.
“These people are sick,” he said.