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Trump says he knows his VP pick

Donald Trump has said that he knows who he wants for his running mate in the 2024 race for president and that his commitment to the NATO alliance will depend on how Europeans treat the United States.

The frontrunner for the Republican nomination, Mr Trump was asked by anchors at a live Fox News town hall who was under consideration for vice president on his ticket.

“I can’t tell you that really. I mean I know who it’s going to be,” Mr Trump told the gathering of Republican voters in Des Moines, Iowa, five days before that Midwestern state’s first-in-the-country nominating context.

In a follow-up question he was asked whether he would be open to mending ties with any of his rivals in the race, to which he responded: “Oh sure, I will.”

Speculation about a running mate has focused in part on Elise Stefanik, a Trump ally and fourth-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, and on Nikki Haley, a rival who was UN ambassador from 2017-18 during Mr Trump’s administration.

Stance on NATO

Mr Trump was asked about his stance on NATO – a question that followed the disclosure yesterday that Mr Trump told top European officials while he was president that the United States would never help Europe if it came under attack.

“Depends if they treat us properly,” Mr Trump said when asked by the Fox anchors about his commitment to the NATO alliance.

“Look, NATO has taken advantage of our country. The European countries took advantage.”

During his first term from 2017 to 2021, Mr Trump repeatedly clashed with traditional allies over trade and defence spending.

Mr Trump’s town hall, counter-programming to a debate he spurned between his rivals for the nomination, Haley and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, took place just hours after former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie ended his bid.

Mr Christie had failed to gain momentum in a campaign cantered on fierce criticism of Mr Trump’s policies and character, and Mr Trump was asked whether he would consider him for a running mate.

“I don’t see it,” he said.

“That would be an upset, Christie for vice president.”

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