As President-elect Donald Trump works to fill the various positions in his administration during the transition period, one of the individuals being considered as the next secretary of state is former Massachusetts governor and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
But that pick has been widely panned in some circles and even led to some in-fighting among members of Trump’s transition team and the broader Republican Party, largely due to Romney’s biting criticism of Trump during the 2016 primary cycle and election season, according to The New York Times.
While other names have been floated as candidates to be the nation’s top diplomatic representative, such as former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, another name garnering attention for the spot is former CIA director and retired Army Gen. David Petraeus.
The The U.K. Guardian reported recently that Petraeus was being considered for the role as head of the State Department by the Trump team, as he was ready to re-enter public service after having kept a low profile during the past few years following his run-in with the Obama administration over an extramarital affair during which he shared some classified information with Paula Broadwell, his mistress and biographer.
Though Petraeus had initially been critical of some of Trump’s rhetoric on the campaign trail, he has since offered praise of Trump as an outsider who could potentially shake things up and make necessary changes to Washington, D.C.
Comments made to the BBC in recent days only seemed to confirm his willingness to serve in the Trump administration, as he intimated that the only acceptable answer to a president asking for help was, “Yes, Mr. President.”
The former commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan and the “surge” in Iraq told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program: “If you’re asked, you’ve got to serve — put aside any reservations based on campaign rhetoric … and figure out what’s best for the country.”
“I’ve been in a position before where a president has turned to me in the Oval Office in a difficult moment, without any pleasantries, and said ‘I’m asking you as your president and commander in chief to take command of the international security force in Afghanistan,’” he continued. “The only response can be: ‘Yes, Mr. President.’”
Petraeus admitted to being critical of some of Trump’s remarks regarding Muslim refugees and immigration, but stated that he had been hearing good things about Trump as a person from some of those who had been working closely with him during the transition.
“It’s interesting that those who have been talking to him have said, you know, he’s very personable, very hospitable, very gracious guy, full of questions and dialogue,” he said.
The general went on to say that he believed Trump could develop a closer and more cooperative relationship between the U.S. and Russia, likening it to President Richard Nixon’s outreach to China in the 1970s, though he cautioned that any such efforts be made “with your eyes wide open.”
It remained to be seen if this report will pan out, but considering that Gen. Petraeus remains well-liked and respected among the American public, and especially among Republicans — more so than Romney — this could be an excellent addition to Trump’s administration.
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