Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has finally revealed who he is eyeing as his potential vice president.
In an interview with Fox News, airing on Sunday, the former president revealed that South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott are currently on the short list to become his running mate in the 2024 election.
“I called Tim Scott and I told him ‘you’re a much better candidate for me than you are for yourself,’” he added.
Mr Scott endorsed Mr Trump last month after the senator ditched his own presidential bid, dropping out of the Republican primaries in early November.
Mr Trump went on to say he is also considering Ms Noem – who endorsed Mr Trump in early September – as his potential running mate.
“Kristi Noem has been incredible fighting for me,” he said of the South Dakota governor. “She said ‘I’d never run against him because I can’t beat him.’ That was a very nice thing to say.”
In an interview with Ms Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures, Ms Noem denied that Mr Trump has contacted her about being his running mate.
“We talk all the time, but we’ve never had that conservation,” she said.
Last month, Mr Trump hinted during a Fox News town hall that he had already chosen his pick for vice president – but refused to reveal who it might be.
Many names have been floated as potential options, including Vivek Ramaswamy, Rep Elise Stefanik, and his only remaining Republican presidential contender Nikki Haley.
However, Mr Trump told Fox News he won’t announce who he plans to run with on the 2024 ticket for “a while”.
He also dispelled rumours that he is considering Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as his vice presidential pick, insisting his team has never reached out to the independent candidate.
For Mr Trump, he said that the most important trait he is seeking in a vice presidential nominee is that they are able to step up and handle the presidency in the case of an emergency.
“Always, it’s got to be who is going to be a good president. Obviously, you always have to think that because in case of emergency. Things happen, right? No matter who you are, things happen. That’s got to be number one,” Mr Trump said.
Mr Trump, who is currently embroiled in several lawsuits – including one over whether he is eligible to run in the 2024 election – and four criminal cases – which could land him with significant jail time – remains the frontrunner in the Republican race, having so far claimed decisive victories over his rivals in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.