The Latest: Trump VP search down to 4 'terrific' options

AP News
Posted: Jul 11, 2016 4:12 PM
The Latest: Trump VP search down to 4 'terrific' options

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on developments in the 2016 presidential campaign ahead of the Republican and Democratic nominating conventions (all times EDT):

4:05 p.m.

Donald Trump says he is still weighing vice presidential choices and he'll make a final decision by week's end.

The likely Republican presidential nominee tells The Associated Press that he has "four candidates that I think are terrific."

Trump was speaking in Virginia Beach, where he was joined by one of his short-listed contenders: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Trump would not confirm the names on the list, but they include former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

Trump says "people will have great respect" for the person he chooses.


2:15 p.m.

Donald Trump is calling Hillary Clinton "the secretary of the status quo" as he criticized the "cover up" of her email scandal.

The presumptive Republican nominee Monday ripped Clinton's use of a private email server and said that "she's probably the most surprised person that she was able to get away with it."

He criticized Clinton's "reckless behavior" and expressed dismay that she is not facing criminal charges.

Trump said that on Election Day, "the American people will show her that she's not above the law."

Trump's comments came Monday in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in a speech billed as the rollout of his plan to treat veterans better.


2:09 p.m.

Hillary Clinton's campaign is encouraging its supporters to be the first to know about her vice presidential pick by signing up for text message updates.

The campaign says in an email to supporters on Monday that "when Hillary makes the big decision, we'll text you within seconds!"

Clinton is considering several possible running mates, including Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro.

She is expected to announce her decision before the Democratic National Convention later this month in Philadelphia.

The tactic is similar to one used by Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, when he encouraged people to sign up for emailed updates when he was considering running mates. Obama eventually chose Joe Biden


1:59 p.m.

Donald Trump says he'll appoint someone to the VA whose mission will be to clean up the agency, adding that "this will be a person of great competence. This will not be a political hack."

He's speaking in Virginia Beach, Virginia on a 10-point plan to serve veterans better.

The subject has long been a staple of Trump campaign appearances.


1:49 p.m.

Donald Trump says he is "the law-and-order candidate" while calling for the end of violence against the nation's police officers.

Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, also declared himself "the candidate of compassion" during a speech about veterans issues Monday in Virginia. He said that he would support the police while also fighting crime in the nation's inner cities.

He says that police and law enforcement are "what separates civilization from total chaos — and the destruction of our country as we know it."

Trump spoke after five police officers were murdered in Dallas last week. Turmp vowed that he would "protect all Americans" and said the recent deaths of black men at the hands of police officers in Minnesota and Louisiana shows that "a lot of work is needed."


1:48 p.m.

Chris Christie, who is on Donald Trump's vice presidential shortlist, is introducing the presumptive Republican nominee at a campaign event in Virginia.

Christie, the governor of New Jersey, introduced Trump in Virginia Beach before the celebrity businessman was set to unveil his plan to aid the nation's veterans.

Christie spoke about the violent events that have rocked the nation in recent days, including the killing of five Dallas police officers.

"Law and order needs to be the first priority once again in our country," he said.

He also said that the nation leader would need a leader who would give "police officers the benefit of the doubt."

Christie also linked the "rule of law" to Hillary Clinton's recent email scandal, saying the likely Democratic nominee is not fit to be president.

Trump has appeared with several members of his running mate shortlist in recent days. He is expected to announce his choice this week.


1:35 p.m.

A national television ad during the Republican National Convention will aim to educate viewers about discrimination against transgender people.

A coalition of LGBT advocacy groups called Fairness USA will air the 60-second ad on FOX News Channel on July 21, the final night of the convention.

Ineke Mushovic, executive director of the Movement Advancement Project, said the ad buy cost around $270,000 and includes a subsequent airing on FOX Business. They also plan an airing on MSNBC during the Democratic National Convention.

The ad depicts a transgender woman denied access to a bathroom by a restaurant worker.

It comes amid legal fights in several federal courts over transgender rights. The legal battles involving multiple states and the federal government were stoked by a North Carolina law limiting protections for LGBT people.


11:42 a.m.

More than 2,000 students, alumni and faculty at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School have signed an open letter to Donald Trump saying they disagree with his rhetoric and policies.

The Republican presidential candidate graduated from Wharton in 1968 and has frequently touted his Ivy League education during the campaign.

The letter entitled, "You Do Not Represent Us," says the signers are "deeply disappointed" in his candidacy. It says they reject his use of his Wharton education as a platform to promote "prejudice and intolerance." It says his "insistence on exclusion and scapegoating would be bad for business and bad for the American economy. An intolerant America is a less productive, less innovative and less competitive America."

An email seeking comment from Trump's campaign wasn't' immediately returned Monday.


11:18 a.m.

A powerful labor union that previously supported Bernie Sanders is now backing Hillary Clinton for president.

The Communications Workers of America formally endorsed Clinton Monday. The union, which represents 700,000 telecommunications and technology members, said in an emailed statement that Clinton "has stood with CWA members and pledges her commitment to making life better for working families."

The endorsement came after Clinton and Sanders announced a joint event in New Hampshire Tuesday.

In a statement, Clinton thanked the union for their backing, pledging to "stand with the CWA to protect workers' fundamental rights to organize, to bargain collectively, to be safe on the job, and to retire with dignity and security after years of hard work."


10:03 a.m.

Mike Pence says he would gladly campaign for Republican candidate Donald Trump in Indiana — or anywhere else.

The Indiana governor told reporters Monday that he's prepared to make the "case" for the presumed GOP presidential nominee "anywhere across the country that Donald Trump would want me to."

Pence is considered a leading candidate to be Trump's running mate. He's listed as a host of private fundraiser for Trump on Tuesday, and also says he will attend a evening Trump rally in suburban Indianapolis.

The campaign appearances by Pence would be the latest in a series of joint appearances Trump has held with vice presidential prospects.

Trump is expected to name his choice toward the end of the week.


8:01 p.m.

Donald Trump is boosting his communications operation.

The Republican presidential candidate has hired Bryan Lanza to handle communications for surrogates, people who speak in support of Trump at big events. Lanza previously was communications director for Citizens United.

Trump also has hired Steven Cheung to lead the campaign's "rapid response" operation. The campaign says in a statement that Cheung's job will be "pushing back on false or unbalanced reporting."


6:45 a.m.

Hillary Clinton's campaign is making it official: Former Democratic rival Bernie Sanders will join her at a New Hampshire event on Tuesday where he plans to endorse her.

Clinton's campaign is holding the event at a high school in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Sanders defeated Clinton by a wide margin in New Hampshire, in the nation's first primary.

Sanders' endorsement will come a month after the final primary. He's pushed for policy agreements on higher education, health care and a $15 an hour federal minimum wage. Some of those policies were included in a draft of the party's platform in Orlando, Florida, over the weekend.

Sanders has not yet said he will endorse Clinton but told reporters on Saturday that the two campaigns were coming together and to stay tuned.


3:20 a.m.

Republican Donald Trump will deliver a speech on veterans' issues, including health care. The talk on Monday in Virginia Beach, Virginia, is the real estate mogul's latest in a series of prepared remarks aimed at articulating his policy agenda.

Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, wants to persuade still-reticent Republicans that he has the discipline and control to mount a credible general election bid against likely rival Hillary Clinton.

Trump will be speaking not far from the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, where he first unveiled his plan to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs last October, promising to modernize the system, while minimizing wait times for patients and improving care.

Under his initial plan, revealed last October, Trump said: "The current state of the Department of Veterans Affairs is absolutely unacceptable."

He also said that "the guiding principle" of his plan would be to ensure that military veterans have quick access to quality care.