Mitt Romney had a “far-reaching conversation” with Donald Trump, Romney said after the two met at a Trump golf resort in New Jersey on Saturday.
“We had a far-reaching conversation with regards to the various theaters in the world where there are interests of the United States of real significance,” Romney said after the meeting. “We discussed those areas, and exchanged our views on those topics — a very thorough and in-depth discussion in the time we had. 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.”
Trump cupped his hands and said “it went great” before Romney spoke.
Romney’s meeting with Trump is a surprising development, given the animosity the two displayed toward each other only months ago.
But Romney has been mentioned in recent days as a possible candidate for secretary of state.
Romney arrived at a golf club owned by Donald Trump in Bedminster, N.J., at 12:58 p.m., according to press reports. The meeting lasted about an hour and 20 minutes.
Trump and Mike Pence, the vice-president elect, were waiting at the door to the golf club. Trump clapped his hands.
“Mr. President-elect, how are you, sir?” Romney said.
Trump responded with, “How are you, sir?”
Romney then shook hands with Pence and the three walked into the clubhouse.
Romney was the Republican nominee for president in 2012 but he was no fan of Trump during this year’s campaign. Romney said that Trump was “a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.”
Trump responded with vitriol, calling Romney a “failed candidate” and a “choke artist.”
The meeting between the two could be a way to establish a rapport. But Senator Jeff Sessions cautioned about reading too much into the development. Sessions, a GOP senator from Alabama, is Trump’s nominee for attorney general.
“I think it’s good that the president-elect is meeting with people like Mr. Romney,” Sessions said, according to Reuters. He added, “There are a lot of talented people that he [Trump] needs good relationships with. And I think Mr. Romney would be quite capable of doing a number of things. But he will be one of those, I am sure, that’s reviewed.”
Trump also met with Michelle Rhee and Kevin Johnson on Saturday. Rhee is the former leader of the District of Columbia’s public schools and has been mentioned as a possible candidate for secretary of education. Kevin Johnson, Rhee’s husband, is mayor of Sacramento and a former NBA player.
Later Trump met with Betsy DeVos, the former head of the Michigan GOP and another possible candidate for education secretary.