Christie met with Trump vetting adviser sources say

Trump Hones in on Running Mate
Trump Hones in on Running Mate

Donald Trump's top vice presidential vetting adviser -- Washington lawyer A.B. Culvahouse -- traveled to New Jersey Saturday to meet with Gov. Chris Christie, according to sources familiar with the plans.

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The meeting lasted approximately three hours and followed Christie's prior submission of the 100+ question vetting questionnaire, tax records and access to medical history.

Sources tell NBC News, Culvahouse devoted a significant amount of time discussing the George Washington bridge lane closures, widely known as "Bridgegate."

The Culvahouse interview for finalists is in addition to a personal, though less formal interview with Trump himself. Those two interactions cap the vetting process and Culvahouse also spent time with Trump and his family this weekend

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Sources say Trump has solicited many opinions but had not given the potential running mates clues about where they stand in his mind.

Today, sources say at this moment, the field has likely narrowed to two: Pence and Christie. Trump, ever the media cycle headline maker, may continue to toss about names but the formal process has reached the end stage. The Christie choice would be more an internal pick than an external decision.

The second-term New Jersey governor has provided Trump private counsel, strategy and loyalty without attempting to upstage or opine publicly. The governor, known for his big and bold personality, has for months shifted into being a low profile power player and sources describe a trust and comfort factor for Trump.

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Those around Christie argue that the political damage from Bridgegate has already been done and public perceptions baked in despite the unknowns of pending legal matters for former Christie aides that would be back in the news during the fall campaign.

Governor Pence is more the external choice by adding regional, temperamental and ideological qualities. Pence also delivers the combination of executive and legislative government experience.

The first term Indiana governor can speak to social and evangelical conservatives. He could be seen as a calming addition to the ticket. However, Trump and Pence do not know each other very well and have very different personalities. Only Trump will ultimately decide if that is a critical factor.

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