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Joni Ernst says she turned down Trump’s offer to be VP running mate

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Sen. Joni Ernst, an Iowa Republican, said she turned down then-candidate Donald Trump’s offer to be his vice presidential running mate in part because her husband “hated any successes I have.”

The 48-year-old lawmaker and combat veteran made the claim about her husband, Gail Ernst, in divorce filings first reported on by The Guardian on Tuesday.

“In the summer of 2016, I was interviewed by Candidate Trump to be vice president of the United States. I turned Candidate Trump down, knowing it wasn’t the right thing for me or my family,” she wrote in an affidavit. “I continued to make sacrifices and not soar higher out of concern for Gail and our family.”

The senator claims that her husband of 26 years resented her professional achievements and hampered her career prospects.

“Meanwhile, he hated any successes I had and would belittle me and get angry any time I achieved a goal,” she wrote.

Gail argues in his filing that he sacrificed his own career in service of his wife’s. The couple went public with their divorce last August.

“I gave up all my aspirations and goals to be a good dad and husband so Joni could pursue her dreams,” the filing says.

In July 2016, Ernst told Politico that she had ruled out the possibility of a vice presidential bid because, as a freshman, she had more work to do for her home state.

“I made that very clear to him that I’m focused on Iowa. I feel that I have a lot more to do in the United States Senate. And Iowa is where my heart is,” Ernst said then of a July 4 conversation she had with Trump.

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