WASHINGTON – The vetting process for Donald Trump’s vice presidential candidate is expected to fully begin next week, a source with his campaign told CNN.
This means the officials responsible for the process will begin going through files of potential candidates, the source added.
Trump’s deliberations over his running mate have already spilled out into the public sphere, as both he and surrogates have hinted at who might be on the shortlist.
Trump has repeatedly stressed that he would pick a running mate with political and government experience — versus a businessman like himself — whose relationships with powerful members of Congress could help him enact his agenda legislatively.
In past interviews, Trump has said he’s looking at five or six candidates and that he will unveil his pick at the Republican National Convention in July. But the real estate mogul has offered only a few clues as to what kind of person he is looking for.
One of his advisers on the matter and former presidential rival, Ben Carson, appeared to spill the beans recently, telling The Washington Post that among those on the list are John Kasich, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz. Trump later said few, if any, of those were actually being considered, and Carson backed off his remarks.
Other names that have been floated include former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman.
Trump has hired A.B. Culvahouse, a Washington attorney who vetted potential VP candidates for John McCain in 2008, to play the same role for him.