Paul Manafort told Chris Cuomo’s new podcast on Tuesday that he does not believe Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will be named former President Trump’s running mate if Trump runs for president in 2024.
"I don't think DeSantis runs against him," Manafort said of the possibility that DeSantis will challenge Trump, adding that he doesn't "think [DeSantis] gets asked" to be Trump’s running mate.
Manafort, a one-time Trump campaign manager, argued that the former president should select someone like Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.
A RealClearPolitics aggregate of 2024 Republican primary polls, featuring potential candidates, shows Trump leading the charge by 27.8 percentage points, with Trump at 51% and DeSantis at 23.2%. Former Vice President Mike Pence was the next highest at 7.4%.
Manafort also said he is convinced Trump will run, but Manafort likely won't be involved.
"Am I willing to get back in again?" Manafort asked. "I don't think so. I'll help whoever the Republican nominee is. But now at this stage of my life, after what I've just gone through, my focus is my family."
Manafort was convicted of bank fraud, tax fraud, a failure to disclose a hidden foreign bank account, and conspiracy during special counsel Robert Mueller’s 2017 investigation into potential Russian collusion by the Trump administration.
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