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Is the Battle over the Next Secretary of State the First Real Rift in Trump Camp?

The head of the team advising Donald Trump as he transitions from President-elect to President of the United States, Kellyanne Conway, seemed to assume a bit of an at-odds position with her boss on Sunday when she raised an objection to the possibility of Mitt Romney being selected as the next secretary of state.


Said Conway about the possibility of Mitt in the cabinet: “I’m all for party unity but I’m not sure we have to pay for that with the secretary of state position.”

The issue revolves around Romney’s high-profile objections, evident throughout the campaign, to Trump becoming the standard-bearer of the Republican Party. Surely the apex of Romney’s anti-Trump stance was his now famous (infamous?) speech back on March 3, made from the University of Utah, in which he said, in part, “Let me put it plainly, if we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished.”

As it happens, that was one of the kinder things Romney said about Trump when he spoke that day. Indeed, the pointed way in which Romney went after Trump at that time took even some in the so-called “Never Trump” movement by surprise.
But in a case of “that was then, this is now,” Trump, at this writing, has decided to make Romney one of the top two candidates for the secretary of state position – the other is former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

While it is unclear as to why, precisely, Romney has come to earn Trump’s consideration for the position, speculation revolves around some combination of an effort by the President-elect to heal the party after such a contentious campaign season, as well as a genuine desire to see someone as statesman-like as Romney represent the U.S. in world affairs.

However, Conway, speaking for Trump loyalists on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, said, “It's just breathtaking in scope and intensity the type of messages I've received from all over the country ... the number of people who feel betrayed to think that Gov. Romney would get the most prominent Cabinet post after he went so far out of his way to hurt Donald Trump.”

Stay tuned.

By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large