Ex-campaign aide claims Trump in 2016 used to talk about making Ivanka his running mate

Rick Gates' new book, “Wicked Game: An Insider’s Story on How Trump Won, Mueller Failed, and America Lost,” comes out next month

President Donald Trump allegedly considered his daughter Ivanka to be his running mate during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to claims made in a forthcoming book by former Trump campaign official Rick Gates.

The discussion supposedly arose in June 2016 when Trump’s team was discussing a pick for vice president.

Ivanka Trump waves as President Donald Trump calls her onto stage at a campaign rally, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Moon Township, Pa. 

Ivanka Trump waves as President Donald Trump calls her onto stage at a campaign rally, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Moon Township, Pa.  (AP)

“I think it should be Ivanka. What about Ivanka as my VP?” Trump allegedly the assembled group, according to Gates’ book, “Wicked Game: An Insider’s Story on How Trump Won, Mueller Failed, and America Lost,” set to be published Oct. 13.

Trump supposedly added: “She’s bright, she’s smart, she’s beautiful, and the people would love her!”

It was not clear whether the presumptive Republican nominee was joking. But in Gates’ telling, Trump lingered on the idea for weeks.

Gates said Ivanka herself ultimately put an end to the conversation, telling her father she didn’t think it was a good idea.

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Trump eventually settled on Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who had delivered a “vicious and extended monologue about the Clintons, according to Gates’ account, first reported by Bloomberg.

The Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said Monday that the claims made by Gates were “not true.”

Unlike other books written by former Trump staffers, “Wicked Game” is expected to be a defense of the president and explain how Gates and others helped get him to the White House.

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Gates, like others in Trump’s orbit, became a target of the Mueller probe. He pleaded guilty in February 2018 to conspiracy against the U.S. and lying to federal investigators. For that, he was sentenced to 45 days in prison, a $20,000 fine, and three years of probation.