If anything, this leak is just the latest proof of how poorly the whole thing has been handled. And that poor handling, in turn, makes the rumor seem quite plausible.
Also making it believable: Basically everything the Trump campaign said on Thursday. Here's a sampling (with a big assist from The Post's Robert Costa). All of this came after Pence's name emerged as the likely pick late Thursday morning.
1/2 A decision has not been made by Mr. Trump. He will be making a decision in the future…— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) July 14, 2016
Based on my reporting, Don Jr. favors Newt. Jared leans twd Newt but open to Pence. Ivanka's view unclear. Manafort for Pence.— Robert Costa (@costareports) July 14, 2016
Manafort would not say whether Trump had spoken directly with Pence and offered him the job: "I'm not going to speak for him"— Robert Costa (@costareports) July 15, 2016
Where things stand...— Robert Costa (@costareports) July 15, 2016
TRUMP last night: no "final, final decision"
MANAFORT this morning: Trump "has reached a decision"
As the AP reported:
Frustration among Trump and his advisers mounted because of news reports that Pence was the pick, sending top aides scrambling to insist no final decision had been made.
And then there was the fact that the top contenders on Thursday were apparently not getting the promised clarity about who the pick would be.
All of it paints the picture of a guy who, at the very least (and according to Trump himself!), hadn't made a final decision as of Thursday evening -- just hours before he was reportedly thinking about ditching Pence as his pick. Trump's campaign is denying the story, but it had basically been putting out word all day that the decision wasn't a done deal. Now his team wants us to believe this was an orderly process and that Trump didn't think about getting rid of Pence.
Trump's team could also argue that Trump wasn't thinking about getting rid of Pence because he hadn't decided on him yet. But given Pence was being flown out to New York late Thursday and his selection was leaked far and wide, that's a little hard to countenance.
And really, it's an unforced error. The Trump team could have said all day Thursday that a decision had been made but that they were waiting to officially announce it. They opted not to do that -- even after the pick leaked -- and it spawned a million tweets about how he might change his mind.
Against that backdrop, the idea that Trump actually did change his mind hardly seems like a stretch.