Trump tried to back off Pence pick: report

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Donald Trump considered abandoning Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate late Thursday night after offering him the job, CNN’s Dana Bash reported Friday:

Bash elaborated on her report Friday on CNN television.

{mosads}“Around midnight last night … Donald Trump was on the phone with senior advisors trying to get out of this,” she said.

“This is after he offered the job to Mike Pence, and they flew him to New York, and they had him sitting in a hotel room in Manhattan thinking he is going to be the vice presidential pick and he just basically dumped his own plans for reelection in Indiana as governor,” Bash added.

“And so what this tells us is that this was so out of Donald Trump’s comfort zone. He does not operate like this.”

Trump was leaning toward New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie while his top aides were beating the drum for Pence, the report said.

“He operates with the gut, and by all accounts if you were following the gut, he would have gone with Chris Christie,” Bash said. “Everybody around him in the campaign apparatus had been making these moves to make it so Mike Pence would be his running mate.

“Flying him to New York. Making it and leaking it to the press that he was going to be making the call. Telling people in and around the Cleveland convention, especially where conservatives are gathered, ‘don’t worry, wink, wink, nod, nod, it is Mike Pence.’”

NBC News reporter Kelly O’Donnell confirmed Bash’s report.

Jason Miller, senior communications adviser for Trump’s campaign, on Friday said Bash’s account is wrong.

Trump on Friday announced Pence as his running mate, ending months of speculation over who the billionaire would select.

On late Thursday, Trump had said he had not made “a final, final decision” between Christie, Pence and former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.).

– Updated at 2:33 p.m.

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