Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Trump expanding search for secretary of state beyond Romney and three other finalists

Rudy Giuliani, left, and Mitt Romney, right, have been among the leading contenders for secretary of state. [Washington Post photo by Jabin Botsford]

Rudy Giuliani, left, and Mitt Romney, right, have been among the leading contenders for secretary of state. [Washington Post photo by Jabin Botsford]

President-elect Donald Trump has expanded his search for a secretary of state beyond the four finalists his aides previously identified, including former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, a senior adviser said Sunday.

Kellyanne Conway, who managed Trump's election campaign, told reporters that he plans to interview additional candidates this week and does not want to rush the decision.

"It is true that he's broadened the search, and the secretary of state is an incredibly important position for any president to fill," she said. "He's very fortunate to have interest among serious men and women."

Among the other names that have surfaced for the position is Jon Huntsman, a former Republican Utah governor who also has served as ambassador to China. Huntsman sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, backing Romney after dropping out.

Speaking to reporters in Trump Tower, Conway declined to confirm consideration of Huntsman or to offer names of other possible contenders.

"Who knows how many finalists there will be," she said. "It's a big decision, and nobody should rush through it."

Besides Romney, the secretary of state finalists whom Trump aides had previously identified were former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, a Trump confidant during the campaign; decorated military officer David H. Petraeus; and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Trump's consideration of Romney has been most visible, including a dinner last week in New York that Romney afterward described as "a wonderful evening."

The choice of Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee, would send a reassuring signal to the moderate wing of the party and to the foreign policy establishment. But Trump loyalists have bristled at the prospect of rewarding someone who was among Trump's harshest Republican critics during the campaign.

In arguing against Trump's fitness for office, Romney called him a "phony," a "fake" and a "con man."

Evidence of the unease with Romney was evident at Trump's first stop on a "thank you" tour last week in Cincinnati, where chants of "No Romney" broke out among the boisterous crowd.

Giuliani has openly campaigned for the secretary of state post but faces questions about his international business ties that could make Senate confirmation challenging.

Petraeus, a former CIA director, also has interviewed with Trump, but he has a significant liability: Last year he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information, admitting that he gave sensitive materials to former lover and biographer Paula Broadwell.

During an appearance Sunday on ABC News' "This Week," Petraeus acknowledged his mistake and said "they'll have to factor that in and also obviously 38 1/2 years of otherwise fairly, in some cases, unique service to our country in uniform and then at the CIA and then some four years or so in the business community."

Corker would probably be easily confirmed by his Senate colleagues but has said he does not expect to get the job.

Trump expanding search for secretary of state beyond Romney and three other finalists 12/04/16 [Last modified: Sunday, December 4, 2016 5:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. What ever happened to the Zika epidemic?

    Health

    Remember Zika?

    The last time Gov. Rick Scott warned Floridians about the potential threat of the mosquito-borne virus was in July, when he urged residents to still be vigilant against bug bites and standing water. At the time, doctors and researchers were bracing for what was supposed to be another active summer …

    Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, responsible for transmitting Zika, sit in a petri dish at the Fiocruz Institute in Recife, Brazil. Cases of the virus are down dramatically this year in Florida, the result of awareness efforts, experts say. But the public, they add, should not let its guard down. [Associated Press]
  2. Pinellas licensing board needs cash. Will the county give it any?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– The grand jury that said Pinellas County should not take over the troubled construction licensing board also said the county should bail out the agency before it goes broke in 2018.

    Pinellas County Commission chair Janet Long isn't keen on the idea of the county loaning money to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board afloat. The county has no say over the independent agency, which could run out of funding in 2018. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  3. Is the Bundt cake back? How retro baked goods are becoming trendy again

    Cooking

    Once there were grunts and slumps, buckles and brown betties. Oh, and pandowdies and sonkers. In the olden days, people routinely made angel food cakes, tomato soup cakes and hummingbird cakes. These were not Duncan Hines mixes, but rather confections made from scratch following yellowed and stained recipes in your …

    Nothing Bundt Cakes in Tampa offers a variety of options, from tiny “bundtinis” and 10-inch cakes that serve 18 to 20 people. Core flavors include lemon, marble, red velvet and chocolate-chocolate chip, with featured flavors like confetti.
  4. What you need to know for Monday, Sept. 25

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Craig Butz, executive director of Pepin Academies and former professional hockey player, died in a crash with a boat Saturday. His daughter Teagan, 4, remained in critical condition Sunday afternoon. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   TIMES, 2013]
  5. Two boys in critical condition after Largo crash

    Accidents

    LARGO — A 7-year-old boy was thrown from a car in a head-on crash on Starkey Road, and both he and a 6-year-old boy were in critical condition Sunday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.