President-elect Donald Trump’s former campaign manager and transition aide Kellyanne Conway released a series of tweets slamming Governor Mitt Romney as an option for secretary of state over the weekend, which an anonymous source says has infuriated Trump.
Conway tweeted that some Trump loyalists “warn against Romney as sec of state,” and instead suggested Henry Kissinger or George Schultz as better models for whom the secretary of state could be.
Conway defended her statements to CNN, saying “I am struck by the intensity and volume of resistance (to Romney) from the grassroots; words like ‘betrayal.’ I communicate with PEOTUS and VPEOTUS privately and regularly so this is not an attempt to do so publicly as some (who missed the election completely) are suggesting. Also, I respect completely that these weighty decisions rest with one man – a man whose political instincts and unconventional campaign defied the critics and made history.”
However, MSNBC’s Morning Joe show revealed that two high-ranking Trump administrative aides confirmed that the president-elect resented Conway’s comments, according to the New York Post. Host Mika Brzezinski quoted one of the anonymous sources as saying “Kellyanne went rogue at Donald Trump’s expense at the worst possible time. Instead of driving Donald Trump’s message, she’s pushing her own agenda.”
However, Conway has doubled down on her critique of Romney and insists that Trump understands her comments come from a place of loyalty, not criticism, and said that she has spoken to him repeatedly since then.
“There was the ‘Never Trump’ movement and then there was Governor Mitt Romney,” Conway said on ABC. “He went out of his way to hurt Donald Trump.” Conway said Romney is “nothing but awful,” and questioned whether he voted for Trump in the Nov. 8 election.
“I’m all for party unity, but I’m not sure we have to pay for that with the secretary of state position,” Conway said on CNN, adding that she’s received an influx of messages against Romney from concerned Republicans. “It’s just breathtaking in scope and intensity the type of messages I’ve received,” she said.
Despite her criticisms, recent reports indicate that Romney is a likely candidate for the secretary of state position, and Trump has met with his former competitor to seek advice and vet him for the role. Some reports claim that Trump has asked Romney to publicly apologize for his criticism of the president-elect during the campaigning season before he could be considered for the job.
Romney led the Never Trump campaign during the election season, and in March, delivered a speech urging Republicans to do what they can to stop Trump from reaching the polls, reported Politico. “If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished,” Romney said.
“Think of Donald Trump’s personal qualities, the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third grade theatrics. We have long referred to him as ‘The Donald.’ He is the only person in America to whom we have added an article before his name. It wasn’t because he had attributes we admired.”
An anonymous source reported that during a Thanksgiving event, Trump sought advice as to who he should select. “Donald was walking around asking everybody he could, about who should be his secretary of state. There was a lot of criticism about Romney, and a lot of people like Rudy,” the source said.
Criticism of Romney has increased among Republicans in recent days among beliefs that Trump will select him for the role of secretary of state. Representative Chris Collins discussed the possibility of selecting Romney on CNN’s New Day.
“What do I know about Mitt Romney? I know that he is a self-serving egomaniac who puts himself first, who has a chip on his shoulder, who thinks he should be president of the United States,” Collins said. “My concern is Mitt Romney is a bit of a lone wolf and might not take the advice or the direction of President-elect Trump. He is a lone wolf.”
[Featured Image By Spencer Platt/Getty Images]