President-Elect Trump and Mitt Romney Go To Dinner — But What’s The Deal?

By Steve Holland | NEW YORK

Republican Mitt Romney made an impassioned statement in support of President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday to try to erase doubts about him among Trump’s supporters and remain in contention for U.S. secretary of state.

Romney, a fierce critic of Trump during the Republican presidential primary battle, stopped short of an outright apology but his intention to wipe the slate clean was clear.

The former Massachusetts governor, who was the Republican presidential nominee in 2012 and lost, praised Trump for a “message of inclusion and bringing people together” since his Nov. 8 victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Noting the appointments Trump has made to fill key cabinet positions for his administration and his desire for greater unity among Americans, Romney said that “all of those things combined give me increasing hope that President-elect Trump is the very man who can lead us” to a better future.

Romney made his remarks after a lengthy meal with Trump and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus at a French restaurant at a Trump hotel in Manhattan. They dined on garlic soup with frog legs, scallops, steak and lamb chop.

Since Trump began to seriously consider Romney as a potential secretary of state, some on Trump’s team have voiced doubts about bringing in a former critic and rallied around their preferred candidate, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a long-time Trump friend and loyalist.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks after a dinner meeting with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at Jean-Georges inside of the Trump International Hotel & Tower in New York, U.S., November 29, 2016.REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Leading this effort in an unusually public way has been senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, who told a round of television interviews on Sunday that Trump supporters would feel “betrayed” if Romney was picked.

Trump, however, has kept Romney in contention for the secretary of state position, and a Republican source close to the transition effort said Priebus has been pushing for Romney behind the scenes.

“I had a wonderful evening with President-elect Trump,” Romney said in remarks to reporters after the dinner. “We had another discussion about affairs throughout the world and these discussions I’ve had with him have been enlightening, and interesting, and engaging. I’ve enjoyed them very, very much.”

A senior Trump aide described Romney’s remarks as “solid.”

Trump is to meet on Friday for the second time with retired Marine Corps General John Kelly as part of his secretary of state search, the aide said.

Trump is also considering U.S. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Corker met Trump at Trump Tower earlier on Tuesday and told reporters afterward that Trump “needs to choose someone that he’s very comfortable with and he knows there’s going be no daylight between him and them.”

“The world needs to know that the secretary of state is someone who speaks fully for the president and again, that’s a decision he’s going to have to make,” Corker said.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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Updated 10:47 PM ET, Tue November 29, 2016

Washington (CNN)If it was New Year’s Eve, they could have spent $888 per head on a tasting menu. But instead, President-elect Donald Trump met potential secretary of state nominee Mitt Romney Tuesday at Jean Georges, a three-Michelin star New York City restaurant inside his Trump International Hotel.

Instead of being joined by their wives, which was the original expectation, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus was their only other guest. He was tapped by Trump to become his chief of staff when he enters the White House in January.
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The three men ordered a young garlic soup with thyme and sautéed frog legs, and diver scallops with caramelized cauliflower and caper-raisin emulsion as appetizers, according to a readout to reporters.
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Priebus and Trump ordered a prime sirloin with citrus glazed carrots for their main course and Romney ordered lamb chops with a mushroom bolognese sauce. All three of the men had a chocolate cake for dessert.
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CNN asked Trump after the dinner if Romney will be the next secretary of state, to which he responded, “Well, we’re going to see what happens.”
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And Romney addressed reporters in the lobby about the dinner, where he said he had a “wonderful evening” with Trump.
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“We had another discussion about affairs throughout the world and these discussions I have had with him have been enlightening and interesting and engaging. I have enjoyed them very, very much,” he said.
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He added: “By the way, it’s not easy winning. I know that myself. He did something I tried to do and was unsuccessful in accomplishing. He won the general election. And he continues with a message of inclusion and bringing people together and his vision is something which obviously connected with the American people in a very powerful way.”
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Despite their rocky past, Trump and Romney didn’t show any animosity whatsoever between each other, as servers dressed in neckties and vests carried out their duties. The three men appeared animated and smiling, as seen by a CNN reporter also in the dining room.
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CNN reporter also in the dining room.
The fight between Romney, the Republican Party’s 2012 nominee, and Trump was nasty and personal.
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After Romney said he didn’t expect Trump to win the GOP nomination and called some of the real estate mogul’s past comments “childish in some respects,” Trump tweeted: “.@MittRomney can only speak negatively about my presidential chances because I have been openly hard on his terrible “choke” loss to Obama!”
Trump fired back, saying that he could have forced Romney to his knees in 2012 when Romney sought his endorsement.
“He was begging for my endorsement. I could have said, ‘Mitt, drop to your knees’ — he would have dropped to his knees,” Trump said.
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Romney’s speech sparked a furious back-and-forth that only ended after the election when, in a stunning turn, the two met to discuss Romney becoming secretary of state. Since that meeting, conservative backers of Trump have been openly bashing Romney, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Conway: Base supporters angry about Romney

Conway: Base supporters angry about Romney 01:18
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On Sunday, Priebus downplayed any fighting behind the scenes, suggesting that picking Romney would make for a good “team of rivals” for Trump.
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“He’s going to be making the best decision for the American people. It isn’t a matter of warfare. I mean, there’s a lot of opinions about this and, yes, it is sort of a ‘team of rivals’ concept if you were to go towards the Gov. Romney concept,” Priebus said on “Fox News Sunday.”
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One Response to “President-Elect Trump and Mitt Romney Go To Dinner — But What’s The Deal?”

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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