President Donald Trump has decided against tapping Elliott Abrams for deputy secretary of state.
According to CNN, Republican sources say Trump denied Abrams the number two post at State.
Abrams met with Trump and the talks went reportedly well, but he was denied the position after Trump found out that the former George W. Bush official criticized him during the campaign.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and senior adviser Jared Kushner all attempted to urge Trump to give the job to Abrams and look past his past remarks about the president. Tillerson claimed he needed Abrams’ experience in the job.
Last May, Abrams wrote an op-ed in the Weekly Standard with the headline, “When You Can’t Stand Your Candidate.” Abrams wrote that Republicans had “nominated someone who cannot win and should not be president of the United States.” He predicted, “We anticipate a landslide defeat, and then a struggle to take the party back from his team and his supporters.”
Abrams was praised by some in the Republican establishment for his extensive background in government and foreign policy, but he brought other issues with him that could have proven problematic during confirmation, including two misdemeanor charges resulting from withholding information to Congress about the 1987 Iran-Contra scandal. Abrams, however, was later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush.