At least four of the five or six people on Donald Trump's vice-presidential shortlist are former rivals from the 2016 Republican primaries, according to former candidate Ben Carson, who's leading the presumptive Republican nominee's vice presidential search committee.
In an interview with a Washington Post reporter, Carson seemed to inadvertently reveal most of the names on Trump's shortlist before back-peddling.
The exchange happened when the reporter, Ben Terris, mentioned that a Morning Consult poll found Carson ranked highest among a field of 11 potential Trump running mates.
"Who else was on the list?" Carson asked, according to the Post.
Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, and former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, Terris replied.
"Those are all people on our list," Carson said.
Terris chalked up Carson's unintended honesty to absent-mindedness.
"That the Trump campaign might want its potential VP picks held close to the vest didn't seem to occur to Carson," Terris wrote. "He's not the type to keep his candid thoughts to himself."
Afterwards, Carson tried to clarify, saying "everybody could potentially be considered, doesn't mean they are on the shortlist."
Cruz, who was probably Trump's most outspoken critic among the GOP candidates, indicated he wasn't interested in running on a Trump ticket, while Christie and Palin both downplayed the possibility of becoming the businessman's vice presidential pick.
Acknowledging that her name on the ticket could possibly hurt Trump, Palin told CNN's Jake Tapper that she doesn't want "to be a burden on the ticket."
"So, you know, I just -- I just want the guy to win. I want America to win," Palin said. "And I don't know if I would be the person that would be able to help him win, Jake."
In previous interviews, Trump said he's considering an established politician. Because he's running as a Washington outsider, he said his ticket could benefit from a vice presidential candidate with executive experience, and noted that high-level politicians have already been thoroughly vetted.