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Top Trump adviser dismisses Martinez V.P. speculation

manafortA top strategist for Donald Trump threw cold water on speculation that Gov. Susana Martinez could be Trump’s vice presidential pick during a segment on “The Kelly File” on Fox News Wednesday night.

Fox host Megyn Kelly invited Paul Manafort – a Trump advisor who will also serve as the presumptive nominee’s national convention manager – to discuss the campaign’s plans heading into the general election.  Toward the end of the segment, Kelly asked about the Manhattan billionaire’s thoughts on choosing a running mate, and specifically about Martinez.

I heard the Fox segment on a replay late Wednesday night but was simultaneously reading and only half paying attention. I re-watched the clip online this morning to make sure I had heard the Martinez bit right. Here’s a transcript of that part:

Kelly: Do you believe what people are saying, that it (the V.P. choice) has to be someone like Susana Martinez, a woman, a Latina?

Manafort: He’s said he’s looking for someone who has Washington experience and someone who can help him in him in dealing with problems in foreign policy and defense policy. That it is more important in my judgement and that is what he thinks, which is even more important.

Martinez’s foreign policy experience is limited at best and she seems to avoid Washington like the plague. Trump’s troubles with women voters are well-documented but Manafort said the candidate’s success proves he doesn’t “need to change a thing.”

CNN reported yesterday that an unnamed Trump aide had touted Martinez as one of three top V.P. possibilities. For what it’s worth, the governor has not only said she doesn’t want the job, she hesitated to endorse Trump this week even after he had all but sealed up the nomination.

The FOX segment also includes a bit in which Kelly asked Manafort archly  if he had advised Trump to tone down his comments on “the Twitter.” Trump famously ripped Kelly on Twitter after a FOX debate last summer in which she challenged his treatment of women.

“It’s not a question of his honesty, but you know, some of the things…” Kelly said.

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