Trump eyes Rep. Elise Stefanik as a potential VP pick – NBC New York

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By Dan Sears

During a candlelit dinner with Mar-a-Lago members in late December, former President Donald Trump walked around the table as the conversation turned to one of the biggest decisions he’d have to make should he become the Republican nominee: Whom should he pick to be his running mate? 

That’s when Rep. Elise Stefanik, the hard-charging upstate New York Republican, came up, according to a person at the dinner table. Attendees around Trump raved about her viral moment just weeks before, when she grilled three university presidents at a congressional hearing about antisemitism on campus

At the thought of Stefanik as a possible choice for vice president, Trump nodded approvingly. “She’s a killer,” Trump said, according to the person at the event. 

Ever since then, Trump and a growing group of allies have started to look more closely at Stefanik as a running mate, according to eight people familiar with the matter, including people in Trump’s orbit, Stefanik fundraising bundlers and former Trump administration officials. 

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At the time, the 39-year-old congresswoman was at the crest of a wave of national publicity after taking on the top leaders of Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

But Stefanik was on Trump’s radar long before that hearing, because she possesses one of the key attributes he’s looking for in a 2024 running mate: loyalty. That, mixed with her ability to drive the news on key issues, may be an irresistible mix for a vice presidential pick.

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