Gov. Doug Burgum, a potential Trump running mate, says "the election is not gonna turn on this trial" – CBS News

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Washington — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, considered to be one of the contenders to be Donald Trump's running mate, said Sunday that November's election will not be decided by the former president's guilty conviction in the New York “hush money” trial.
“While this is interesting and it's captivating right now to a lot of people, the election is not gonna turn on this trial,” Burgum said on “Face the Nation” Sunday. 
A Manhattan jury last week found Trump guilty of falsifying business records to conceal a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels to buy her silence before the 2016 presidential election. But Republicans have derided the verdict, sticking by their presumptive nominee for president and claiming that the jury was biased, although the jury was composed of seven men and five women who were all approved by both the defense and the prosecution. 
Burgum echoed the skepticism in the verdict, while asserting that Americans haven't been paying close attention to the trial. He argued that working Americans don't have time to keep up with the details of the trial, and he suggested that it won't have a major impact on the electorate come November. 
“As this moment in time passes, when we have the election coming this fall, people are going to make a decision about, are they better off today than they were four years ago?” Burgum said, noting that Americans already had a chance to live their lives under a Trump administration. “Americans are gonna come back to the issues that affect them because this trial outcome doesn't affect them, the inflation affects them.”
According to a CBS News poll conducted after the verdict, just over a third of Americans said they had been following the news about the Trump trial and conviction “very closely.” The survey also found that just over half of Americans think the jury reached the right verdict and that the trial was fair, which is virtually unchanged from the portion of the country that thought Trump was guilty before the verdict. And Republicans overwhelmingly said they think that Trump was treated unfairly, a sentiment that he and his surrogates have touted for months.
Burgum was among a group of Republican officials who appeared at the Manhattan courthouse in the days leading up to the verdict to support the former president. Though the North Dakota governor had launched a long-shot bid for the White House, he bowed out of the race in December and later endorsed Trump. Since then, he's become a major advocate for the former president and is thought to be among the contenders for Trump's running mate. 
When asked about reporting from The Washington Post that Trump met with oil executives and told them that if they raise $1 billion to help him return to the White House, he would reduce regulation and start auctioning off drilling leases, Burgum backed up the former president. 
“I was at that meeting. That did not happen,” Burgum said. “He didn't ask for a billion dollars in donations and there was no quid pro quo.”
The Washington Post also reported that Trump suggested to those oil executives he would ease scrutiny of industry, mergers and acquisitions if he wins, which Burgum also denied. But when asked what did happen at the meeting, Burgum said Trump “went around the room for two hours, asking each of the people to tell me, what are your challenges? What are you facing? What are- what are the things that- he was there learning the whole night about the challenges that we're facing.”
But Burgum insisted that Trump isn't “targeting” the oil industry to finance his reelection bid, although he added that current environmental restrictions are “hurting this country.” 
Kaia Hubbard is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital, based in Washington, D.C.
First published on June 2, 2024 / 1:22 PM EDT
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