Paul Manafort, a top aide to Donald Trump, said the presumptive Republican nominee is unlikely to pick a woman or minority for the position because “that would be viewed as pandering, I think.”
In a lengthy interview with the Huffington Post, Manafort also said Trump’s selection needs to be well-seasoned in politics.
“He needs an experienced person to do the part of the job he doesn’t want to do. He sees himself more as the chairman of the board, than even the CEO, let alone the COO,” Manafort said.
The veteran political operative suggested that the highly anticipated choice should be viewed as proof of Trump’s presidential readiness, and he said that “there is a long list of who that person could be.”
He added: “Everyone one of them has major problems.”
Trump himself has said he would like to pick “a political person” with experience in legislating. Campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who is heading the vetting team, also told CBS the selection will have “federal legislative experience.”
Manafort’s comments come within the backdrop of a fierce internal struggle at the Trump campaign.
Though campaign has said Lewandowski is heading the vetting team, surrogates and team members — most notably Ben Carson — have sent mixed messages about the process and who is being considered.
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