NEW YORK, NY (AP) – President-elect Donald Trump says Rudy Giuliani is taking himself out of consideration for a position in his administration.
Giuliani, a loyal Trump supporter throughout the campaign, was an early front-runner to be secretary of state. But he faced questions about his overseas business ties and Trump began looking at other candidates, including Mitt Romney.
In a statement, Trump says Giuliani would have been an “outstanding” Cabinet secretary in several roles. He says he respects the former New York City mayor’s decision to remain in the private sector.
Reince Priebus, Trump’s incoming White House chief of staff, says Giuliani was vetted by the transition team for possible conflicts and “passed with flying colors.”
Trump is yet to announce his pick to lead the State Department.
The full statement from the Trump team:
President-elect Donald J. Trump today announced that during a meeting with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani held on November 29, 2016, Mayor Giuliani removed his name from consideration for a position in the new administration.
President-elect Trump said, “Rudy Giuliani is an extraordinarily talented and patriotic American. I will always be appreciative of his 24/7 dedication to our campaign after I won the primaries and for his extremely wise counsel. He is and continues to be a close personal friend, and as appropriate, I will call upon him for advice and can see an important place for him in the administration at a later date.”
Mayor Giuliani will remain a Vice Chairman of the Presidential Transition Team led by Vice President-elect Mike Pence, which is making historic progress in bringing highly qualified people into the administration.
“Rudy would have been an outstanding member of the Cabinet in several roles, but I fully respect and understand his reasons for remaining in the private sector,” said President-elect Trump.
In explaining his withdrawal Mayor Giuliani said:
“I joined the campaign because I love my country and because having known Donald Trump as a friend for 28 years and observing what he has been able to accomplish, I had no doubt he would be a great President. This is not about me; it is about what is best for the country and the new administration. Before I joined the campaign I was very involved and fulfilled by my work with my law firm and consulting firm, and I will continue that work with even more enthusiasm. From the vantage point of the private sector, I look forward to helping the President-elect in any way he deems necessary and appropriate.”
Reince Priebus, incoming White House Chief of Staff to the President-elect, said that the former Mayor “was vetted by our team for any possible conflicts and passed with flying colors.” He also said “the team appreciates Rudy’s contributions to the victory and considers him a close friend and advisor.”