South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune dismissed the notion that he is on Donald Trump’s short list for the vice presidential nomination, telling NBC News “I know nothing.”
Thune, who is part of the GOP Senate leadership team, said he has not spoken with Trump about any role on the ticket.
Fewer than three weeks before the GOP convenes in Cleveland, Thune said of the Trump campaign vetting, “I have no clue about what their process is.”
GOP sources say Thune, 55, could bring valuable political assets to Trump’s bid for the White House. In 2004, Thune toppled the sitting Democratic Majority Leader, Tom Daschle in a stunning upset.
A married father of two grown daughters, he has since risen within the Republican leadership ranks to his current role as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.
With his western outdoorsman sensibilities, his evangelical Christian faith and the respect of colleagues, Thune could be a link to the GOP establishment. But, he said Monday, “I don’t have any reason to think I’m in that mix.”
Up for re-election in November with no challenger, Thune said he has had no direct contact with the campaign, but added, “well, I think you always take the call.”
To do otherwise, said Thune, "would be rude, you know. In South Dakota, we’re not rude. ”