Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney on Monday night appeared to confirm reports that he will not be President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, posting a short message on Facebook saying that he was honored to be considered for the position.
On Monday night, people with knowledge of the decision told the Associated Press that Trump has selected Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, a figure who is a controversial option because of his business activities in Russia and relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Earlier Monday evening, Trump took to Twitter to say he will announce his nominee on Tuesday morning, but he said nothing about who it would be.
I will be making my announcement on the next Secretary of State tomorrow morning.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2016
Trump kept the public and contenders for the job in suspense for weeks, as he spoke with potential nominees including Romney, former New York mayor Rudy Guiliani, former CIA director David Petraeus, Senator Bob Corker, and former Utah governor Jon M. Huntsman Jr.
Guiliani appeared to be Trump’s favored option in the early days following the election, but his front-runner status was soon called into question as Trump met with a number of candidates who paraded through the lobby of Manhattan’s Trump Tower and at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.
Last week, Giuliani formally withdrew from consideration for a job in the coming administration, after questions were raised about his foreign business connections.
For a time, Romney appeared to be a top contender for the role, with Vice President-elect Mike Pence saying he was under “active and serious consideration” for the post.
But many could not forget Romney’s full-throated opposition to Trump during the Republican primary, and Trump’s former campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, repeatedly said publicly that she saw intense opposition to him receiving the appointment.
Material from Bloomberg News, the Washington Post, and the Associated Press was used in this report. Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.