Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is President-elect Donald Trump’s top choice to lead the State Department in his administration, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee for president, met with Trump over the weekend. Sources familiar with the transition team’s deliberations told The Journal that Trump is leaning toward picking him for secretary of state.
But the decision is not yet set in stone – according to The Journal, some in Trump’s orbit want him to instead pick former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was viewed as the early front-runner for the post. Others want him to look at candidates aside from those two.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a top Trump ally, hinted on Monday that he viewed Giuliani as the stronger pick.
“That entirely is a question of the president-elect and deciding whether in fact Romney would be willing to be his secretary of state or in fact Romney would work to make Trump Romney’s version of the presidency,” Gingrich said.
He added: “I think they’ve got to talk it through. I am for whoever the president-elect picks. I think there are huge advantages to Rudy Giuliani, frankly. I think that if you want someone who is going to go out and be a very tough negotiator for America and represent American interest in the way that Trump campaigned, I think that probably Rudy is a better pick and has the right temperament.”
Giuliani was one of Trump’s earliest supporters, while Romney became one of Trump’s most vocal critics throughout the campaign.
Romney spoke out against Trump frequently and refused to endorse him despite Trump endorsing Romney in 2012. Romney declined to say whom he voted for in the general election.
Trump also torched Romney during the campaign, calling him a “spoiled brat” and “nasty guy.”
After the election, Romney said on Twitter he wished Trump the best.
Other developments on Tuesday indicate Trump’s Cabinet is starting to take shape. He said he’s “seriously considering” retired neurosurgeon and former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson for secretary of housing and urban development.
The Journal also reported that Trump was likely to name retired Marine Gen. James Mattis as secretary of defense, and favors South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley as a candidate for US ambassador to the United Nations.