Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump reportedly insisted on having his daughter, Ivanka Trump, on the ticket during the 2016 elections.
According to Bloomberg News, former Trump campaign deputy director and convicted felon Rick Gates described in his upcoming memoir one of Trump’s conversations with campaign staffers, Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner in which the GOP candidate floated the idea of having his daughter as his running-mate.
“During a VP discussion that included Jared and the other kids all assembled in one room, Trump said, ‘I think it should be Ivanka. What about Ivanka as my VP?’” Gates reportedly wrote. “All heads turned toward her, and she just looked surprised. We all knew Trump well enough to keep our mouths shut and not laugh.”
Trump reportedly insisted that voters would “love” Ivanka.
“She’s bright, she’s smart, she’s beautiful, and the people would love her!”’ he said during the meeting, according to Gates.
The candidate would bring up the idea several more times to the point where Paul Manafort, the campaign manager at the time, polled voters twice on the subject. Ivanka Trump “didn’t poll tremendously high, but higher than we expected,” Gates reportedly wrote.
And after campaign aides presented him with several potential candidates for running-mate, including now-Vice President Mike Pence, Trump reportedly told the staffers “Look, I don’t like any of these people” and “I think it should be Ivanka.”
Ultimately, Ivanka Trump reportedly convinced her father to take her name off the list.
“She went to her father and said, ‘No, Dad. It’s not a good idea,’” Gates wrote. “And he capitulated.”
Trump would go on to appoint Ivanka and Kushner as his senior advisers after winning the election.
Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh denied Gates’ account on Monday.
“This is not true and there was never any such poll,” Murtaugh said in a statement.
Gates’ book, titled “Wicked Game: An Insider’s Story on How Trump Won, Mueller Failed and America Lost,” will be released on October 13. He is currently serving a three-year probation sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy and lying to the FBI in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. He was also sentenced to 45 days in prison, which he was permitted to carry out during the weekends.