President-elect Donald Trump’s senior advisor Kellyanne Conway said Sunday that Trump supporters feel betrayed about the prospect of former Trump rival Mitt Romney becoming secretary of state.
Since Thursday, Conway has been public about reservations with Romney. She tweeted then, “Receiving deluge of social media & private comms re: Romney Some Trump loyalists warn against Romney as sec of state.”
Trump met with the former Massachusetts governor last week and it has been reported he is a top contender to become secretary of state.
During Trump’s run for the presidency he was sharply criticized by Romney. The 2012 Republican nominee called Trump “a phony, a fraud,” and he said if Trump were elected “his personal qualities would mean that America would cease to be a shining city on a hill.”
Conway said during a television interview Sunday, “People feel betrayed to think that Gov. Romney, who went out of his way to question the character and the intellect and the integrity of Donald Trump, now our president-elect, would be given the most significant cabinet post of all.”
Republican Missouri Rep. Billy Long agreed with Conway and tweeted, “She’s right it would be a betrayal of grassroots & us electeds'[sic] that we’re all but spat upon for supporting [Trump]
The Trump senior advisor and former campaign manager also questioned Romney’s qualifications for the role. Conway asked, “Gov. Romney for the past four years ― has he been around the globe doing something for the United States of which we are unaware? Did he go and intervene in Syria where they are having a massive humanitarian crisis?”
Meanwhile, incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus downplayed the battle for secretary of state. He said Sunday there is not “open warfare” between sides of the Trump team as has been reported by Politico. Vice President-elect Mike Pence and Priebus are reportedly in favor of Romney, while Conway and Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon back former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
CNN’s Ana Navarro criticized Conway for being public with her distaste for Romney, and the former campaign manager replied, “I did tell him privately. And I’ll respect his decision. Point is the volume & intensity of grassroots resistance to Romney is breathtaking.”
Retired Army Gen. David Petraeus, retired Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, Republican Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, and Republican California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher are all also seen as potential secretary of state picks.