Who are the contenders for secretary of state? – CBS News
Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus added some names to the list of contenders Sunday on NBC News’ “Meet the Press:” “I’m not sure who he’s going to select, but I do know that he’s talking to the right people: Giuliani, General Keane, General [John] Kelly; he’s talked to Mitt Romney, obviously.”
CBS News has reported that one of the top contenders is Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, but other possible picks include 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, former CIA Director David Petraeus, and Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, among others.
Here’s an overview of some of the individuals who might be picked:
Rudy Giuliani: The Trump ally has made a public case for his appointment, arguing that his private sector experience makes him a strong candidate.
“I probably have traveled in the last 13 years as much as Hillary did in the years she was secretary of state,” Giuliani, referencing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal published Friday. “My knowledge of foreign policy is as good, or better, than anybody they’re talking to.”
He told the Journal that he had visited as many as 80 foreign countries since leaving public office and taken 150 foreign trips. He has spent the last several years consulting on security issues around the world for a firm he founded, Giuliani Partners, and he also chaired the cyber security and crisis management practice at Greenberg Traurig, a major multinational lobbying law firm. Some of Giuliani’s business ties to foreign governments and companies would likely be scrutinized during Senate confirmation.
The ex-mayor, 72, was also a federal prosecutor in the Reagan administration.
Giuliani’s aggressive demeanor has some Republicans worried about how he would conduct himself on a world stage. On CBS’ “Face the Nation” last week, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul criticized Giuliani for being “unrepentant” in supporting the Iraq war, and said he doesn’t believe Giuliani is “very diplomatic.”
“I think you want the chief diplomat to be diplomatic,” said Paul, who has claimed he would vote against confirming Giuliani in the Senate if Mr. Trump nominated him.
Mitt Romney: The former GOP presidential nominee has a history of clashing with the president-elect. Romney refused to endorse Mr. Trump during the Republican primary cycle, even actively and openly blasting the real estate mogul for his controversial rhetoric and policy stances.
Trump has also fired back against Romney, calling him a “lightweight losing candidate” on Facebook and dubbing him “one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics” in a tweet.
But the two had a lengthy meeting at Bedminster which impressed Mr. Trump, and put him into “active and serious consideration” for secretary of state.
Kellyanne Conway, a senior transition team adviser and Mr. Trump’s former campaign manager, weighed in over the Thanksgiving holiday about the possibility of Romney as chief diplomat, cautioning that the president-elect’s supporters would not appreciate the choice.