Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos…Two of Donald Trump’s top potential vice presidential picks bowed out of the running on Wednesday. Which is kinda like going into the boardroom of “The Apprentice” and telling host Donald Trump, “You know what, let me save you the trouble. I’m fired.”
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‘16 from 30,000
We’ll give you a peek behind the curtain into the NBC News political unit by disclosing that we spent a lot of our day editing our Republican VP shortlist. And then editing it again. And... again. In quick succession this afternoon, two of Donald Trump’s top possible VP picks suggested that they aren’t interested in the job. Bob Corker told NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell “I've always thought that I'm better suited for other kinds of things,” while sources confirmed to NBC News - after a report in POLITICO - that Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst also told Trump she wants her focus to remain on her home state. The moves underscore the unique problem that Trump faces in his search; while a consensus candidate could help shore up Republicans anxious about Trump’s lack of experience and conservative credentials, the ideal picks for that slot may decide the political risk isn’t worth the reward. The exception so far may end up being Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a favorite of conservatives who’s been one of the most talked-about picks so far. But in addition to the unpredictability of the candidate himself, the question of whether the VP contenders *want* the job -- and the very public vetting of each one in Trump’s audition-style appearances with each candidate -- makes this season like no other veepstakes yet.
POPPING ON NBC POLITICS
- Two potential Trump VP picks bowed out on Wednesday.
- But Joni Ernst has been given a prime-time speaking slot at the convention.
- Donald Trump received a major boost to his campaign coffers, announcing that he raised $26 million in June, including a $3.8 million contribution from himself, NBC’s Mark Murray and Leigh Ann Caldwell report.
- Here’s a list of Trump’s history of praising dictators.
- Hillary Clinton used a vestige of Donald Trump’s past business failures to knock the businessman on Wednesday. She said what he did to his casino "is exactly what he will do if he wins in November."
- Ted Cruz’s team denies negotiations are underway for him to have a speaking role at the convention.
- Clinton adopted key pieces of Sanders student debt plan on Wednesday. Sanders applauded the proposal.
- And from First Read: How the Email Saga Sums Up the Clintons
FOR THE RECORD…
“Mr. Trump believes in putting your oxygen mask on first before helping others.”
Donald Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson during an interview on CNN. Pierson was responding to Hillary Clinton’s claims that Trump has profited by taking advantage of others.
Donald Trump holds a closed door meeting with members of the House GOP Conference, followed by a meeting with Senate GOP.
FBI Director James Comey will appear at a House Oversight Committee on the recommendation not to prosecute Clinton for her email use.