According to the excerpts of the new tell-all book on the administration, President Donald Trump was essentially manipulated by multiple staffers, into picking Mike Pence as his running mate.
The tale begins with an exchange between Trump and Karl Rove, who Trump hated, thinking of him as “haughty and condescending.” Since Trump is new to politics, he never knew that it had nothing to do with him; rather, it seems to simply be Rove’s demeanor with everyone.
In a bizarre moment, Trump demanded that Rove write something positive about him after he won the Indiana Republican Primary. He relayed his demand through hotel and casino magnate Steve Wynn. While Rove had written about the then-presidential long-shot, Trump was so displeased with the piece that it prompted a threat.
“He says he wants to meet with you and get your advice,” Wynn told Rove, according to the book. “He knows you did this twice.”
The crime was that Rove had called Trump’s conspiracy theories about Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) dad killing JFK “nuts.” Such tactics would ultimately harm the GOP, according to Rove. Trump didn’t care, and Rove became one of many to earn Trump’s backlash.
Ironically, however, it was Rove who suggested Mike Pence as a Vice Presidential candidate.
“I think your battlegrounds are going to be between Pennsylvania and Iowa, and if you’re going to break the Blue Wall, you need someone with Midwestern sensibilities and someone who has evangelical appeal,” Rove told Trump according to the book. “There’s one guy who fits that description: Mike Pence.”
According to the account, Trump smirked, noting how Pence said “nice things” about him.
Previous accounts have said that Trump wasn’t crazy about Pence and had sought to head back to New York. However, Paul Manafort got the “Trump Force One” team to claim they couldn’t leave. It forced the two men together longer, where Pence ultimately won Trump over with his flattery that has continued into the presidency.
Another excerpt describes an exchange between former communications chief Jason Miller and Trump.
“You just came over from Cruz? I guess you want to join the winning team, right?” Trump said. “Ted is a little nasty. Sometimes he’s nice.”
Miller didn’t speak.
“Let’s see where your loyalties lie,” Trump continued. “Tell me something negative about Ted. Give me some dirt.”ADVERTISEMENT
“I can’t do that,” Miller replied.
“No?” Trump said. “C’ mon. You have to give me something.”
Miller still refused. After two more rounds of this, Trump abruptly turned angry. “Okay, I’m not f*cking around anymore,” he told Miller. “Give me something on Cruz or you’re outta here.”ADVERTISEMENT
It was Ivanka, Don Jr. and Jared who had pushed Miller on Trump, and they looked concerned, the book claimed.
“Right answer!” Trump shouted, and pounded the table. “Jared, did you coach him?”
Kellyanne Conway joined shortly after, also coming over from Ted Cruz’s team. She too was all in for her friend, Mike Pence. The disgraced Indiana governor downright “scoffed” at the idea that Trump wanted to meet with him. Everyone told him to do it, even his Club for Growth pal, who’s spent the better part of the last three years attacking Trump. He claimed that the worst thing that would come out of it is that Trump would lose and Pence could use him to launch his own presidential run.
“I’m going to make sure you get it,” Conway told Pence.
In the end, “Pence found himself smitten with Trump,” the book describes.