President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday that former critic and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is still being considered for secretary of state, reinforcing reports that Romney remains the leading contender for the position.
“I’ve spoken to him a lot. I think we’ve come a long way,” Trump said of Romney in a telephone interview on NBC’s Today show.
Trump said he will likely announce his choice for the nation's top diplomatic post next week.
Trump appeared last week to have narrowed his list to four names: Romney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Central Intelligence Agency chief David Petraeus and Tennessee Senator Bob Corker. Trump has also interviewed former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton and is talking to several other people as well, including retired Navy Admiral James Stavridis and former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman.
The president-elect met Tuesday with the CEO of ExxonMobil Corporation, Rex Tillerson, who has also been mentioned as a candidate for secretary of state. The 64-year-old Texas oilman has no government experience and has close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders.