Trump Says He’s Privately Decided Who His Running Mate Will Be

(Bloomberg) -- Former President Donald Trump said he’s made up his mind on who he’ll select as his vice presidential nominee - but hasn’t told the Republicans vying for the position his decision yet.

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Trump said during a stop Saturday at a cheesesteak restaurant in Philadelphia that his running mate would be attending next Thursday’s presidential debate in Atlanta, according to an NBC News reporter at the event.

While his showdown with President Joe Biden doesn’t have an audience, many of the top vice presidential contenders - including North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, and Senator JD Vance of Ohio - are expected to attend a watch party hosted by Trump’s campaign.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee has previously said he would announce his choice at or shortly before the Republican National Convention, which begins July 15 in Milwaukee.

But Trump may decide to make the announcement earlier, in part to distract from coverage of his July 11 sentencing on 34 felony counts in a New York hush money case.

The campaign has ratcheted up preparations for after Trump’s running mate is chosen. It has rented a private jet for the vice presidential candidate between July to November, according to a person who requested anonymity to discuss the efforts.

The choice will be a major decision for the former president, who is seeking to expand his electoral coalition amid public opinion polls that show voters were disappointed with both candidates. Trump was in Philadelphia on Saturday to appear at a rally on the city’s north side, traditionally a Democratic stronghold.

Trump broke with Mike Pence after his former vice president announced that he didn’t believe he had the constitutional authority to block certification of Trump’s loss to Biden in 2020.

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