Donald Trump wants Gen. James Mattis to run the Department of Defense, Gov. Mitt Romney to run the State Department, and Steven Mnuchin to run the Treasury Department.
That’s according to a source with intimate knowledge of Trump’s thinking.
By Friday, Trump had narrowed down cabinet roles for Mattis to either Defense or State, but prefers Romney to take the latter job, the source tells The Daily Caller.
Mattis and Romney were scheduled to meet with the president-elect Saturday at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Romney and Mnuchin were both spotted by reporters there Saturday afternoon.
Reached by email Friday evening, Mattis declined to confirm whether he expected to be tapped to run the Pentagon. “Nothing for me to talk about now,” he told TheDC, adding, “Hope all goes well.”
Romney and Mnuchin could not immediately be reached and the Trump campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.
Romney — the Republican Party’s 2012 nominee for president — is the former governor of Massachusetts, and was among Trump’s fiercest Republican critics during the 2016 election.
“Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud,” Romney said during a televised speech in March. “His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.”
But Romney was greeted warmly Saturday upon arriving at Trump National.
“Mr. President-Elect, how are you sir?” Romney greeted Trump, who was waiting alongside Vice President-Elect Mike Pence at the club’s front entrance. “How are you, sir?” Trump replied, as they reportedly “gripped each other’s arms,” before walking inside.
Mnuchin is a former partner at Goldman Sachs who served as Trump’s national finance chairman during the campaign. Mnuchin also previously worked for liberal billionaire George Soros at Soros Fund Management LLC.
Mattis, the former commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, retired from the Marine Corps in 2013 after serving as the commander of U.S. Central Command, which oversees all U.S. military action in the Middle East.
He would need a congressional waiver to accept the Defense Secretary position since the law requires people who take the job to have been civilians for at least the seven years prior.
“Mad Dog” Mattis has a legendary status among Marines for his reputation as a warfighter. He’s also among the most quotable people alive.
When the Marines arrived in Iraq in 2003, Mattis advised them in a speech: “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”