President-elect Donald Trump will meet with Mitt Romney, one of his top Republican critics, on Saturday raising speculation that the incoming commander in chief could tap the 2012 presidential nominee for a key cabinet post. Trump will hold a series of meetings with fellow Republican officials during his weekend getaway to Bedminster, New Jersey, the presidential transition team said on Friday.
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Romney, a former Massachusetts governor who is considered a Republican Party elder, was mentioned first on the list of guests who will sit down with the president-elect on Saturday.
The meeting could signal a reconciliation of sorts between the two.
Romney, 69, helped lead the charge against Trump’s nomination earlier this year by branding the provocative billionaire a “fraud” who was “playing the American public for suckers.”
Rumors have swirled that Romney was under consideration to be nominated as Trump’s secretary of state, a move that would put an experienced politician and trouble-shooter with a calm, reassuringly diplomatic bearing as the future face of American foreign policy.
But the transition team tamped down speculation that Romney could join the cabinet.
“I think that what that meeting suggests… (is) the president-elect wants the best and the brightest, and the people who can offer ideas and suggestions on how to move this country forward and to implement his vision,” Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters on a press call.
“He’s going to meet with people who supported him, people who didn’t support him, Republicans, Democrats, independents.” Spicer added.
“The conversation with Mitt Romney is just that, an opportunity to hear his ideas and his thoughts.”
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who ran against Trump in the Republican primaries, meets the president-elect today, the transition team said.
Scheduled to meet with Trump on Saturday are Michelle Rhee, who led the Washington, DC public school system from 2007 to 2010 and who has been floated as a possible education secretary, and James “Mad Dog” Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general who headed US Central Command and whose tough talk has endeared him to US troops.