Trump, Romney to meet this weekend
The news that Donald Trump will meet with his fiercest GOP critic, Mitt Romney, this weekend has set off speculation that the president-elect may offer the former Republican presidential nominee a cabinet post – perhaps even secretary of state.
The two men are set to discuss "governing moving forward" and potentially a role for Romney in Trump's Cabinet, a senior Republican source told CNN on Thursday.
Romney has long told friends that he would like to serve in government again and the one job he is interested in is secretary of state, a senior Republican with knowledge of the transition tells CNN. The source says that Romney is meeting with Trump in part to discuss it.
The former Massachusetts governor is being presented as a choice that would show Trump is looking for "adults" because he would bring a team of professionals along with him, the source said, adding that the nomination is being seen as a "serious" possibility.
The meeting with Romney comes as concern about Rudy Giuliani's chances of confirmation continue -- a factor, the source said, that has been discussed with Trump. It's also the latest in a series of Trump's conversations and encounters with Republicans who did not support his candidacy in an effort to reunite the GOP following a divisive election that fractured the party establishment.
Trump is also maintaining a jam-packed schedule Thursday as the President-elect's team looks to tamp down reports of disarray and infighting within the transition effort, which has been slow to ramp up following Trump's shocking victory last week.
One close friend expressed healthy skepticism that Romney would ever serve in the President-elect's Cabinet.
Romney has often talked how his father, George, did not enjoy serving in President Richard Nixon's Cabinet. After McCain won in 2008, Romney told friends that he didn't want to go into McCain's Cabinet, if he won.
"Trump's Cabinet seems like an even lower probability," the friend said. "I wouldn't say never, but I would be surprised."
A Romney appointment would be a startling shift in the two men's relationship.
One former Romney adviser was surprised by the meeting, but said of Romney, "he cares that much. He's a patriot. This isn't about Donald Trump."
Another Romney ally added that the only position that would attract him would be secretary of state. "He's known as the economy guy, but look at his book. He is and was more involved in foreign policy issues. And he was right about everything from ISIS to Russia," the person said.
I have no doubt that Romney is a patriot and that he would serve in President Trump's cabinet if asked.
But how likely is it that Trump would choose a pro-NAFTA globalist and quintessential elitist for his inner circle of advisers – especially secretary of state? The idea that Romney is even up for the position at State appears to be coming from pro-Romney sources – probably many of the same sources who assured us after the campaign got underway and Trump began to win that Romney would enter the race to save the GOP.
That wasn't going to happen then, and it is unlikely that Romney will be offered secretary of state now. Romney is a talented man, to be sure, and he would probably be a good fit at the VA or the Commerce Department. Either of those two portfolios would make more sense than secretary of state.