Trump called Mitt Romney to tell him he wouldn’t be the next secretary of state

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Mitt Romney leaving after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at the clubhouse of Trump International Golf Club on November 19 in Bedminster Township, New Jersey.
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Aude Guerrucci / Pool via CNP /MediaPunch/IPX

President-elect Donald Trump’s multiweek search for a secretary of state is apparently over, and former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts will not be nominated.

Romney indicated as much Monday night in a Facebook post, saying, “It was an honor to have been considered for Secretary of State of our great country.”

“I have very high hopes that the new administration will lead the nation to greater strength, prosperity and peace,” Romney added.

Trump appears set to nominate Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as the nation’s top diplomat, The New York Times and other news outlets reported Monday night.

Word of Tillerson’s candidacy first surfaced via Trump transition officials on Saturday. The 64-year-old Texas native has no governing or diplomatic experience, and he has spent his entire career at Exxon.

Other candidates under consideration included former Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York, former CIA Director David Petraeus, and retired Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly.

But no other candidate received as much attention as Romney, who at one point was the leading candidate for the position despite his strong opposition to Trump throughout the presidential race.

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AP

Last month, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee had dinner with Trump – his second of at least two meetings with the president-elect, amid a flurry of headlines that pegged Romney as the frontrunner for the post.

After that meeting on November 29, Romney called Trump “the man who can lead us to that better future.”

News of Trump’s pending secretary of state announcement also comes on the same day the president-elect postponed a much-anticipated press conference that was meant to detail how he would address his many foreign business interests before taking office.

That press conference was scheduled for Thursday but has been moved to an as-yet-unannounced date in January.