Trump’s potential sec. of state list down to Giuliani, Romney
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Sunday, November 20, 2016, 3:45 PM
Donald Trump appeared to whittle down on Sunday his list for the secretary of state post for his incoming cabinet to Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, while also seeming poised to tap retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis as his secretary of defense.
Trump, who was meeting for a second consecutive day with a cadre of advisers at his golf course in Bedminster, N.J., indicated that appointments “could very well happen” Sunday, as he narrowed his selections for his top diplomat, reportedly choosing between Romney, the 2012 GOP nominee who spent most of the previous day meeting with Trump, and Giuliani, the former New York City Mayor who last week began publicly lobbying for the job.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that Romney was “under active and serious consideration to serve as secretary of state,” just a day after the former Massachusetts governor sat down with Trump, who throughout the 2016 race had been a fierce critic of the mogul, for 80 minutes.
“They had a good meeting, it was a warm and a substantive exchange,” Pence said. “We spent the better part of an hour together with him. And then I know that the two of them actually had some private time together. I would tell you that it was not only a cordial meeting but also it was a very substantive meeting.”
Donald Trump may announce his pick for secretary of state on Sunday.
(NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
Giuliani, for his part, was one of several Trump advisers in tow at Bedminster Sunday, as another recent cabinet-level appointee, Reince Priebus, stated on ABC’s “This Week” that “of course” the former New York mayor was in the running for the secretary of state job.
Trump told reporters gathered at his New Jersey course that he was considering Giuliani to be his “secretary of state, and other things,” before walking away with the former mayor.
Either man would mark an unusual choice for Trump.
Romney and Trump exchanged blistering words throughout the campaign, with the 2012 GOP nominee calling Trump a “con man, a phony and a fraud” who engaged in “absurd third-grade theatrics,” while Trump repeatedly blasted Romney as a “loser” and a “failed candidate” who “choked like a dog” in 2012.
And Giuliani, whose tenure as New York mayor was marred with racial tensions and public spats in his personal life, has been criticized as lacking the appropriate credentials to serve in a position that amounts to Trump’s top foreign affairs adviser.
The Trump campaign is said to also be considering former UN Ambassador John Bolton and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who was at Trump Tower last Thursday.
Mitt Romney is “under active and serious consideration to serve as secretary of state,” according to Mike Pence.
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
David Petraeus, the retired four-star general and former CIA director who resigned after sharing confidential information with his mistress, was also still under consideration for the post, The New York Times reported Sunday.
The President-elect also appeared to be zeroing in on naming his defense secretary, who he indicated, in a tweet Sunday morning, could very well be Mattis.
“General James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, who is being considered for Secretary of Defense, was very impressive yesterday. A true General’s General!” Trump tweeted Sunday about his sit-down a day earlier with the former U.S. Central Command leader.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (l.) and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani were both among the list of guests to meet with Trump in New Jersey this weekend.
(Win McNamee/Getty Images)
But in a signal that the search wasn’t completed, Bloomberg News reported that former Texas Gov. Rick Perry would meet with Trump Monday at Trump Tower about the role.
Either man might not have been Trump’s first choice.
Retired four-star Army Gen. Jack Keane said Sunday in an interview with NPR that he’d been offered the secretary of defense job, but declined it due to personal reasons.
Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel, the brother of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, also visited with Trump in Bedminster.
“I was asked to serve, but I’m not able to,” Keane, a key architect of the Iraq surge, told NPR Sunday. “I have some personal issues surrounding the death of my wife recently, and I explained all that to Mr. Trump, and he was very gracious and understanding, and quite supportive.”
As talks on various posts progressed, Trump was huddled with about a dozen advisers and other prospective cabinet and cabinet-level members at his private golf course Sunday.
Among the many others to visit Bedminster were Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel, the brother of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel; Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and a former National Labor Relations Board member; Wilbur Ross, a billionaire investor rumored to be under consideration for the commerce secretary post; House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.); Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state who helped draft Arizona’s infamous Senate Bill 1070, a strict anti-illegal-immigration bill known in some circles as the “show me your papers law;” and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who just weeks ago was demoted from his role as the transition camp’s leader.
Wilbur Ross, a billionaire investor rumored to be under consideration for the commerce secretary post.
(Mark Lennihan/ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Between meetings, Trump, Pence and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway attended church services at the nearby Lamington Presbyterian Church. On his way out, Trump told reporters that appointments “could very well happen” by the end of Sunday.
After a slow start — in part due to Christie’s ouster as its leader — Trump’s transition effort has picked up the pace in recent days, making three key appointments Friday: Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as attorney general, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as national security adviser, and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) nominated to lead the CIA.