Mitt Romney is a key contender to become the nation’s next secretary of state and retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis was an “impressive” prospect for defense secretary, President-elect Donald Trump and his No. 2, Mike Pence, said Sunday.
“Gov. Romney is under active and serious consideration to serve as secretary of state of the United States,” said Pence, the vice president-elect who is leading the search for Trump’s cabinet members, in an interview on CBS.
On Sunday, Trump wrote on twitter that, “General James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, who is being considered for secretary of defense, was very impressive yesterday. A true General’s General!”
On Friday, he named a loyalist, ret. Gen. Michael Flynn, as his national security adviser. Trump told reporters on Sunday that one of his most loyal and public allies, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, was also a prospect for secretary of state “and other things.” Giuliani at one point had been considered for attorney general, but Trump gave that job to Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama.
Meanwhile, Trump received more visitors to his golf club in New Jersey on Sunday. Besides Giuliani, Trump met with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, his former transition chairman who was replaced by Pence after the election. Mr. Trump says New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is “a very talented man.” But he is not saying if there is a place for him in his administration.
Trump’s transition team said former Texas governor and GOP presidential rival Rick Perry was expected to meet with Trump on Monday.
The businessman and president-elect also apparently was considering prospects to lead the Commerce Department, meeting with billionaire investor Wilbur Ross.
“Time will tell,” Ross told reporters when asked if he wanted the post.
Both Romney and Trump put on a show of smiles, a public handshake and a thumbs-up Saturday, a marked shift in tone after a year in which Romney attacked Trump as a “con man” and Trump labeled him a “loser.” But the two have started to mend fences since Trump’s victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Trump started filling key administration positions on Friday, picking Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo to head the CIA, signaling a sharp rightward shift in U.S. security policy as he begins to form his Cabinet. Trump also named retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn as his national security adviser.
Sessions and Pompeo would both require Senate confirmation; Flynn would not.