Politics

Melania will ‘most certainly’ have influence on Trump’s VP pick, says former White House aide

Former First Lady Melania Trump will ‘most certainly’ have an influence on who her husband selects as a running mate for the 2024 presidential election, according to one former White House insider.

‘Mrs. Trump will most certainly speak her mind when it comes to which person she thinks would be best to serve alongside her husband as he attempts to take back the White House,’ the source, who previously served as an aide to Trump during his presidency, told Fox News Digital.

‘Whether or not Trump takes her advice when selecting his running mate will be determined later down the road. It’s safe to assume, though, based on what I’ve seen in the past, that she will be upfront and candid about whether certain people are fit to serve as vice president,’ the source said of Melania.

Should she make clear who she believes fits the bill best, it won’t be the first time Melania influenced her husband’s thinking when it comes to his vice presidential pick.

In her 2018 book, ‘First in Line: Presidents, Vice Presidents and the Pursuit of Power,’ Kate Andersen Brower noted that Melania played a pivotal role in ensuring a ‘clean’ and ‘safe’ candidate was chosen to serve as Trump’s running mate in the 2016 election.

‘That meant no affairs and no messy financial entanglements. In short, it meant no drama. She realized her husband had enough of that already,’ Brower noted at the time.

Though they now have a troubled relationship marred by the results of the 2020 presidential election, Trump ultimately selected former Vice President Mike Pence to serve as his running mate for both the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.

Brower said Melania was ‘decidedly in Pence’s corner’ due to his record of having ‘absolutely no skeletons.’

Though it is still unclear who Trump will select as his running mate for the 2024 presidential election, which is less than five months away, a report published last week touted the former president and first lady’s relationship with North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and his family.

The Puck report highlighted Melania’s relationship with Burgum’s wife, Kathryn, and pointed to how she ‘worked with Melania on multiple occasions, including on building recovery-friendly workplaces’ during Trump’s presidency.

The report also highlighted how the Burgums were invited to the White House to celebrate the signing of the First Step Act criminal justice reform initiative, an issue the outlet said is ‘particularly important to Kathryn.’

Additionally, the outlet noted how the two couples ‘bonded’ with one another at Mar-a-Lago for an Easter brunch this year.

It is not yet known whether Melania will speak on Burgum’s behalf as the former president weighs his options in the crowded contest for vice president, but she’s had success in offering suggestions to her husband in the past.

Petitioning the former president on particular topics was something the former first lady is said to have done often, typically on issues dealing with public perception and trust.

‘There were definitely times when he sought Mrs. Trump’s counsel, and those occurrences were typically dealing with what I’d consider to be public perception,’ the former White House insider told Fox. ‘He knew when not to also. He wouldn’t usually seek her advice on issues that he had specific knowledge about — like the economy, business, trade and other dealings of the sort.’

‘She is in many ways, I think, like Nancy Reagan behind the scenes,’ the source added. ‘Though she wasn’t seen by the public each day, she played roles in several decisions that were made for the better regarding public perception, trust, and advocacy during the Trump presidency.’

Speaking to Fox News’ Aishah Hasnie at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the Republican National Committee last week, Trump said he has ‘sort of a pretty good idea’ of who his vice presidential running mate will be.

His decision, however, isn’t expected to be made public until this summer’s Republican National Convention, which is slated to take place in Milwaukee, Wis., from July 15 to 18.

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