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Senator's Divorce Papers Reveal a VP Surprise

Joni Ernst of Iowa says she turned down Trump's offer to be VP, blames her husband
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2019 11:41 AM CST
In this 2017 photo, President Trump speaks before having lunch with Republican senators at the White House, as Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, listens.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
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(Newser) – It seems that Mike Pence wasn't Donald Trump's first choice to be vice president. The revelation comes via an unusual source: divorce papers filed by Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst. In the court documents, Ernst writes that "in the summer of 2016, I was interviewed by Candidate Trump to be vice president of the United States," per the Guardian. "I turned Candidate Trump down, knowing it wasn't the right thing for me or my family." She goes on to suggest that her husband, Gail, was holding her back. "I continued to make sacrifices and not soar higher out of concern for Gail and our family."

Her husband of 26 years, she said, "hated any successes I had and would belittle me and get angry any time I achieved a goal." In his own affidavit, Gail Ernst rejects the allegation. "I gave up all my aspirations and goals to be a good dad and husband so Joni could pursue her dreams," he writes. Politico notes that Ernst and Trump did indeed meet on July 4, 2016, and afterward Ernst threw cold water on the idea of any VP talk. "Iowa is where my heart is," she said. (Read more Joni Ernst stories.)

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