Trump says he’s still considering Romney for secretary of state: ‘It’s about what’s good for the country’

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Mitt Romney and President-elect Donald Trump in 2012.
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REUTERS/Steve Marcus

President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is still being considered for secretary of state despite their past differences.

Romney was one of Trump’s most vocal critics during the primary season, and some Trump supporters are angry that the president-elect would consider him for a position in his cabinet.

But Trump shrugged off those concerns in an interview with the “Today” show on Wednesday.

“I’ve spoken to him a lot and we’ve come a long way together,” Trump said. “We had some tremendous difficulty together and now I think we’ve come a long way.”

When “Today” host Matt Lauer asked Trump is he was just stringing Romney along to get back at him for his previous criticism, Trump said he wasn’t.

“It’s not about revenge,” Trump said. “It’s about what’s good for the country. And I’m able to put this stuff behind us.”

Trump then pointed out that he “hit [Romney] very hard also,” but that the press didn’t cover it.

“I’m very happy about that actually,” he said.

Trump is thought to be considering several candidates for secretary of state, including Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Corker, former CIA Director David Petraeus, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, United Nations ambassador John Bolton, former US ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Exxon Mobile CEO Rex Tillerson, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, and retired Navy Adm. James Stavridis.

Lauer asked Trump if he had crossed any of those names off his list, and he said, “Well, I think I have in my own mind, I don’t want to say which ones.” He then praised Tillerson for building a “tremendous company” with “great style.”

Romney, who ran for president himself as the Republican candidate in 2012, was thought to be a frontrunner for secretary of state, but Trump’s former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway has cast doubt on whether Trump would actually pick him.