Somebody close to Donald Trump's campaign is apparently leaking something very unhelpful.
Trump spokesman Jason Miller is forcefully denying it:
Needless to say, having rumors out there that you thought about dumping your vice presidential pick 12 hours after his name started leaking is a bad thing. If you're Mike Pence, you just affixed your brand to Trump's for the next four months -- and perhaps the rest of your career -- and the botched handling of the VP rollout has now culminated in this. Not exactly a confidence-booster.
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.
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.