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Trump wanted Ivanka as running mate in 2016, ex-campaign aide says in new book

Rick Gates says the president repeatedly floated his daughter’s name during race for America’s top office, according to excerpts obtained by Bloomberg

US President Donald Trump listens as Ivanka Trump speaks about the deployment of 5G technology in the United States during an event in the Roosevelt Room of the White House,April 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
US President Donald Trump listens as Ivanka Trump speaks about the deployment of 5G technology in the United States during an event in the Roosevelt Room of the White House,April 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

US President Donald Trump strongly considered selecting his daughter Ivanka as his running mate in the 2016 election, a new book by a former top campaign official says.

In excerpts from his new book, “Wicked Game: An Insider’s Story on How Trump Won, Mueller Failed and America Lost,” Rick Gates says that during discussions of potential vice presidential choices, Trump floated his daughter, according to Bloomberg News,

“During a VP discussion that included Jared and the other kids all assembled in one room, Trump said, ‘I think it should be Ivanka. What about Ivanka as my VP?’ There was silence,” Gates recounts.

“All heads turned toward her, and she just looked surprised. We all knew Trump well enough to keep our mouths shut and not laugh. He went on: ‘She’s bright, she’s smart, she’s beautiful, and the people would love her!'”

Rick Gates leaves federal court in Washington, DC, on February 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

Gates, who served as Trump’s deputy campaign manager, says Trump repeatedly raised the notion with aides.

White House spokespeople declined to comment.

Trump eventually selected Mike Pence as his running mate, while later appointing his daughter and her husband Jared Kushner to advisory positions of great influence in his administration, leading to accusations of nepotism by critics.

Wicked Game, by Rick Gates

Ivanka Trump holds a broad White House portfolio focusing on education, women’s empowerment, job creation, workforce development and entrepreneurship.

While her husband Jared Kushner has been given his own outsized role seeking Middle East peace, Ivanka often aligns herself with key domestic initiatives of the president.

She has been widely reported to be considering political aspirations of her own, possibly seeking to become her father’s heir apparent in 2024 and beyond.

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