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Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani withdrew last week from consideration to be secretary of state or any other role in the incoming White House, President-elect Donald Trump said Friday.
“Rudy Giuliani is an extraordinarily talented and patriotic American,” Trump said. “I will always be appreciative of his 24/7 dedication to our campaign after I won the primaries and for his extremely wise counsel.”
Trump said that Giuliani “continues to be a close personal friend” and will be someone he looks to for advice. The president-elect said he “can see an important place for him in the administration at a later date.”
Giuliani, who was initially considered a front-runner for secretary of state, was overshadowed in recent weeks by other people, including retired Gen. David Petraeus and Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee.
“This is not about me; it is about what is best for the country and the new administration,” Giuliani said in a statement explaining his decision.
The former New York City mayor, who after the release of the lewd 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape was perhaps the only surrogate who publicly defended Trump, will remain vice chairman of the presidential transition team, the campaign said.
“Before I joined the campaign I was very involved and fulfilled by my work with my law firm and consulting firm, and I will continue that work with even more enthusiasm,” Giuliani said. “From the vantage point of the private sector, I look forward to helping the president-elect in any way he deems necessary and appropriate.”
Fox News host Neil Cavuto, who spoke to Giuliani after it was announced he had withdrawn his name for consideration, asked if he was at all bitter.
“Not at all. I am a very happy man,” Giuliani said, adding that Trump “continues to be one of my closest friends.”
The pair will attend the Army-Navy football game on Saturday together, Giuliani said.
Trump’s list of candidates for secretary of state has significantly expanded in recent days. The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday afternoon that Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobile, was Trump’s latest favorite for the post.