After a week of veepstakes chaos, speculation and changed plans, Donald Trump used Twitter to announce that he had chosen Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) to be his vice presidential candidate.
I am pleased to announce that I have chosen Governor Mike Pence as my Vice Presidential running mate. News conference tomorrow at 11:00 A.M.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2016
Pence was on a short list that reportedly also included New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Outlets began reporting mid-day Thursday that Pence had been selected, and the campaign had an official unveiling event planned for Friday in New York. After the attack in Nice, however, Trump announced that he would be delaying the event. As Trump’s Tweet Friday said, the campaign is now planning an event for Saturday morning.
Trump’s public announcement came about an hour before Pence faced a noon deadline to drop out of the race to be re-elected Indiana’s governor.
Trump held meetings in person and over the phone throughout the week with the final candidates for his running mate. On Thursday, Pence was spotted flying to New York, fueling reports that he had been selected ahead of the event planned for Friday.
After announcing he was delaying Friday’s event, Trump told Fox News Thursday evening that he had not made a “final, final decision.” NBC News, meanwhile, reported that Trump had been “irritated” by the apparent leaks of his choice, and sources close to Trump said he hadn’t even personally informed Pence of his selection when the reports began surfacing, let alone the other two final candidates. There was a “tense” Trump call with Christie Thursday afternoon, the sources told NBC, in which Trump discussed with Christie picking Pence but he did not signal he had not made a finale choice.
Trump’s top advisor Paul Manafort added to the confusion early Friday morning by suggesting to Fox News that Trump won’t make up his mind until he announces.
“Well, until he announces it, he hasn’t,” Manafort said. “Whether he’s made up his mind and wants to announce it, or hasn’t made up his mind, I guess are two different questions.”
Pence responded on Friday morning to Trump’s announcement that he had been chosen.
— Mike Pence (@mike_pence) July 15, 2016