Trump asks supporters to tell him who to pick as his VP

Donald Trump has unexpectedly asked his supporters who they think he should pick to be his running mate for the presidency, assuming he sews up the Republican nomination, as is widely expected.

The likes of New York congresswoman Elise Stefanik, South Carolina senator Tim Scott, South Dakota governor Kristi Noem and Arkansas governor and one-time Trump White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, have all been linked to the role in recent weeks but Mr Trump has remained uncharacteristically tight-lipped, saying only that it will definitely not be GOP rival Nikki Haley or Mike Pence this time around.

“Before I select the next Vice President, I need YOUR ADVICE!” Mr Trump bellowed in a campaign email to his base.

“I’m humbly asking for your response before the day ends.

“I don’t want to make my pick without reading your thoughts first!”

What follows is a short survey, which invites respondents to write the name of their preferred candidate manually, rather than by providing a drop-down list of possible options.

After that, signatories are asked what issues they consider most important ahead of November’s election, from “ending election interference” and “securing the border” to “stopping skyrocketing crime”, “eliminating the Deep State” and “protecting the unborn”.

The survey then reverts to what kind of person they would prefer as a future prospective US vice president and whether it matters to them whether that person is an establishment politician or an outsider, a believer or a military veteran.

Readers are then invited to explain more about their answers in a small text box, before a live results feed reports back on which issues are regarded as most pressing by their fellow conservatives (the border was narrowly ahead on 14 per cent, at the time of writing).

Finally, the email gets down to its true purpose: fundraising.

Respondents are asked whether they might care to contribute a patriotic $20.24 or $47 (an allusion to the future 47th president) or a less symbolic amount, like $1,000.

Running to be commander-in-chief while battling four criminal indictments and 91 felony charges threatens to be an expensive business and Mr Trump was ordered to pay almost $355m in compensation last week after being found guilty of fraud by a court in New York, a matter of weeks after he was told to pay E Jean Carroll $83.3m in defamation damages for lying about having sexually assaulted her.

He responded to adversity by launching his own line of golden high-top trainers on Saturday, promoting the “Never Surrender” range at Sneaker Con in Philadelphia with a pair retailing for an eye-watering $399.

One loyal Trump supporter bid $9,000 at an auction at the event in order to walk away with a pair signed by Mr Trump himself.