President-elect Donald Trump and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney set aside a fierce rivalry on November 19 and held talks likely to feed speculation that Romney could be in line to be the next US secretary of state.
Trump also met for an hour with retired Marine General James Mattis, who is considered a strong contender for defense secretary or another high-ranking job.
After a day of meetings, Trump emerged to tell reporters that his search process was going "really efficiently" and that he had spoken to "really, really talented" people who could form part of his Cabinet. Asked if Mattis would be his defense secretary, Trump said, "He's a great guy. He is some great man."
|U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence (R) greet former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (L) on November 19. (Photo:Reuters)
Trump said he might have some announcements on November 20.
Earlier, Trump and Romney emerged from their meeting after an hour and 20 minutes, and Trump told reporters their talks "went great." Romney said the pair "had a far-reaching conversation with regards to the various theaters in the world."
"We discussed those areas, and exchanged our views on those topics – a very thorough and in-depth discussion in the time we had," Romney said. "And I appreciate the chance to speak with the president-elect and I look forward to the coming administration and the things that it’s going to be doing."
Romney, who was a leader of the establishment Republican "never Trump" movement that tried to block Trump from becoming the nominee, was first in a long list of people Trump was meeting with on November 19 and 20 as he seeks to fill out his Cabinet and gather advice ahead of his Jan. 20 move to the White House.
In March, Romney said Trump would be dangerous as president, with policies that could touch off a recession. Romney also said, "I'm afraid that when it comes to foreign policy he is very, very not smart."
Trump had denounced Romney as a "choke artist" for losing the 2012 election to President Barack Obama.
But with the New York real estate developer now president-in-waiting, Romney's appearance at Trump National Bedminster on an unseasonably warm November day was symbolic of hard-won party unity.