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Search for Trump VP: Former president’s team asks candidates Burgum, Vance and Rubio for documents

Former President Donald Trump’s campaign has begun the process of formally requesting information from a small handful of potential running mates, ABC News has learned. This marks a significant escalation in the process that will lead to Trump choosing a nominee for vice president.

Those asked by the campaign to review the paperwork include North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and Senators Marco Rubio and JD Vance, sources told ABC News. The silent action by campaign officials intensified last month as Trump was preoccupied with his criminal hush-money lawsuit, the sources said.

Others will likely be considered for the second job, but the first questions reflect who is currently at the top of Trump’s list. Campaign officials say the final decision will be Trump’s.

“Anyone who claims to know who or when President Trump will choose his vice president is lying, unless the person’s name is Donald J. Trump,” said Brian Hughes, a senior adviser for the Trump campaign.

Trump campaign officials have also requested information from Sens. Tim Scott, Reps. Byron Donalds and Elise Stefanik and Ben Carson, sources said. But it is unclear how extensive the requests were.

Representatives for Burgum and Vance did not respond to ABC’s request for comment. Rubio denied receiving any contact from Trump campaign officials.

“I haven’t talked to them about vice president,” Rubio told ABC’s Rachel Scott on Wednesday.

While the former president has not yet indicated who he will choose as vice president, he did say he plans to make his announcement closer to the Republican National Convention, which takes place in July.

In recent weeks, those being considered as a possible vice president for Trump have increased their public profiles by appearing on cable networks, defending the former president during his hush money trial and some even appearing in court with Trump.

Burgum was the only known potential veepstakes candidate to appear at the courthouse during jury deliberations for Trump’s criminal trial, which only happened after Trump campaign representatives asked him to provide background information that could be taken into account in the search for a running mate.

Last week, after television appearances outside the courthouse, Burgum joined Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr., as the jury deliberated. Two hours later, Trump was convicted.

Burgum’s actions were a sign of loyalty in the next first steps and strength as a partner in troubled waters.

Vance also appeared as a surrogate at the Manhattan courthouse on May 13.

Often asked about the possibility of serving as vice president under Trump, Burgum, Rubio and Vance have often not answered the question directly, but have said they would do whatever the Trump campaign asked of them, including being campaign surrogates and raising money for the former president’s campaign.

Discussions have taken place with Rubio’s team about how to address the constitutional issue that could prevent residents of the same state from receiving the same presidential ticket — including the possibility of the Florida senator moving for the role, sources said.

When Rubio was recently asked on NBC whether he wanted the vice presidential job, he said, “I’ll do whatever the campaign asks of me.”

During a phone interview on Newsmax Tuesday night, Trump was asked if he was close to making a decision on picking a running mate, and he complimented Vance, Rubio and Burgum.

“I thought Tim Scott didn’t run a race as well as he could run for himself, but as a surrogate for me he’s incredible. He has been incredible,” Trump said.

“Gov. Burgum of North Dakota has been incredible. Marco Rubio has been great. J.D. Vance has been great. We’ve had so many great people.”

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