Melania reportedly believes Carlson would be a "powerful onstage extension" of her husband, according to Axios' Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei. The report claimed that some Trump staffers, however, fear that Carlson would potentially "outshine" the former president as a running mate and "can't be controlled."
Other potential running mates reported to be considered by Trump, 77, include Sen. J.D. Vance, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Reps. Byron Donalds and Marjorie Taylor Greene. Former news anchor Kari Lake, who lost the Arizona gubernatorial race in 2022 and is now running for U.S. Senate in the state, is also reported to meet the "loyalist" qualification that Trump is seeking for a running mate.
A Trump campaign aide called the Axios report "pure fiction" and claimed the former president was instead focusing on the GOP primary elections.
“The Axios story is pure fiction,” the aide said via the New York Post. “Unless there is a formal announcement from President Trump or his campaign team, then it’s just speculation and not coming from us. President Trump is solely focused on winning the Republican nomination and then defeating Crooked Joe Biden in the general election.”
Carlson recently launched his show on X months after being terminated by FOX News, which included an exclusive interview with Trump, who opted to appear on the program rather than participate in a GOP presidential debate in August. The Republican pundit has publicly been a supporter of Trump since he entered the political realm, though several leaked messages released through the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit included Carlson, texting an unknown recipient, "I hate him passionately," when referring to Trump on January 4, 2021, two days before the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.