Controversial Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski to oversee search for VP candidates
Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, will oversee the presumptive Republican U.S. presidential nominee’s search for a running mate, a campaign aide said on Tuesday.
Lewandowski last week took over the vice presidential selection process and is drawing up a list of potential candidates and speaking with Republican Party figures, two top Republicans told the Washington Post, which first reported the move.
The two Republicans said they expected lawyers or a law firm to help vet Trump’s short list of candidates, the Post reported.
The Trump campaign aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Lewandowski is leading the effort but would not elaborate.
Trump has said he is considering some of his former rivals for the Republican nomination. But some already have ruled themselves out or declared they will not support the billionaire businessman. One of those was U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who on Monday sought to quash speculation he might emerge as the running mate, saying he still has deep reservations about Trump.
Trump has bristled at Republicans who publicly have taken themselves out of the running. The day after Rubio’s announcement, Trump wrote in a Twitter post, “It is only the people that were never asked to be VP that tell the press that they will not take the position.”
Trump has said he plans to select a Republican with political experience as his choice for vice president.
Lewandowski has been part of Trump’s inner circle since the beginning of his candidacy. Other Trump senior advisers, including Paul Manafort and Rick Wiley, will concentrate on the campaign’s national field operation and planning for the Republican National Convention in July, the Post said.
Lewandowski has generated controversy during Trump’s campaign for president. He was hit in March with a misdemeanor battery charge relating to an incident involving a female reporter, but prosecutors in Florida’s Palm Beach County last month decided not to prosecute Lewandowski.
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Will Dunham)