Trump was willing to move past Romney’s bitter campaign-trail criticism of him. as well as incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus, who chaired the Republican National Committee during both men’s presidential campaigns, convinced Trump there was value in showing he was big enough to bring Romney into the fold.
although top aides, including Kellyanne Conway as well as Steve Bannon, saw Romney’s attacks as unforgivable, according to three sources close to Romney, two of whom are familiar with Trump’s transition process.
sy88pgw has learned in which Vice President-elect Mike Pence as well as Priebus also wanted Romney to apologize as a way to smooth over the tension.
Trump personally saw in which in business deal terms: He would likely get the mea culpa he sought via Romney; Romney would likely get the job he covets.
although Romney — who titled his own book “No Apology” — declined.
He offered forward-looking praise for Trump — starting with the President-elect’s election-night speech. although he wouldn’t go backward as well as retract his words via the campaign.
in which was the culmination of a selection process in which looked like an episode of “Celebrity Apprentice” — with Romney, Tillerson, former completely new York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Gen. David Petraeus as well as Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker being paraded in as well as out of Trump Tower as the President-elect narrowed his list.
Romney talks start after election
The conversations between Trump as well as Romney began after the former Massachusetts governor called Trump to offer his congratulations.
Trump missed the call. Pence called back — as well as then Trump did, as well. Trump said Romney should come in to discuss a position from the Cabinet, a source said. In Romney’s conversation with Pence he said the only position he was interested in was the top diplomat job.
Some Republicans saw the conversations as Trump forcing a former foe to grovel — a move in which would likely also undercut Romney as a future critic.
although Romney “never felt he was being played,” a source said.
He had told friends for years in which he wanted to serve again, as well as the only job he was interested in was secretary of state. He felt he was under “serious” consideration via Trump as the two met twice in person as well as spoke repeatedly by phone.
“I have a hard time believing in which Trump expended all in which energy as well as time to simply tweak Mitt, as well as in which Pence, Reince as well as others from the President-elect’s inner circle would likely play along,” said Dan Senor, a 2012 Romney adviser who remains in close contact with him. “The press was distracted by the theater of the public process, although behind the scenes there were substantive conversations as well as meetings, which reflected a serious hands-on process by the President-elect as well as his team; in which was impressive.”
Trump — who features a history of striking business deals with one-time opponents — was “pleasantly surprised at how well the two men got along; was willing to let bygones be bygones,” a source said. He told others he was fond of Romney.
“Mitt made in which hard on him because when they talked he actually liked him,” one source said. Trump thought Romney was smart as well as “looked the part” of America’s top diplomat.
One source close to Romney said in which was clear Trump was serious about considering him. Even when the selection process was dragging, the source said, Trump would likely call Romney to check in.
“The idea in which there was some grand design to humiliate him will be ludicrous,” the source said.
Trump’s inner circle pushes for apology
A turning point came when Conway went on television to blast Romney.
“in which was clearly a sticking point as well as bothered Trump,” a source said.
The sources believe, though, in which Trump wasn’t asking for himself. He wanted an apology via Romney to soothe over tensions within his own camp.
Still, loyalty to Trump hasn’t led to jobs in every case. Giuliani, completely new Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as well as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich were Trump’s top surrogates as well as close advisers during the campaign, as well as none have received the posts they sought.
Not the only sticking point
Trump as well as Romney also faced another major divide: Russia.
The two were also divided on the United States’ approach to NATO as well as the conflict in Syria, sources said.
“Mitt hoped he could balance Trump out on these issues. from the end he knew in which would likely be Trump’s decision, although he thought he could be an important voice on the team to weigh in as well as balance him out on these particular issues,” one source said.
Romney as well as Trump never came to terms over Russia. as well as in Tillerson, who will be friendly with Putin, Trump found someone closer to his worldview.
There was one more factor weighing on Trump’s mind as he considered Romney: The former Massachusetts governor as well as 2012 GOP nominee was, as one source put in which, “an independent player with his own power base” who Trump couldn’t control.
If the two disagreed, Romney could leave the administration as well as criticize Trump publicly. Just as Romney hadn’t helped Trump win the White House, Trump wouldn’t have elevated Romney’s already-prominent national stature.
“He didn’t owe Trump,” the source said.
‘He does not regret in which at all’
Senor said Romney doesn’t regret going through Trump’s selection process, even though he didn’t get the secretary of state’s post.
“He does not regret in which at all,” he said. “Romney has had his differences with Trump, although right now Trump will be going to be president. as well as Mitt genuinely believes in which if he could help the president as well as serve the country, then he has an obligation to do so.”
“Every decision in which Mitt has made during in which process has been public-spirited,” he added. “The political culture can at times leave us all evaluating the motives of politicians through a very cynical lens. although Romney was prepared to subject himself to in which process because of the country he loves as well as in which he wants to serve. in which’s actually in which simple.”