Top contender to be Trump's secretary of state needles Mitt Romney as drama reaches fever pitch

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Corker seemed to needle former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney following the Tennessee Republican’s meeting with President-elect Donald Trump Tuesday.

Corker, long considered a contender to serve as secretary of state, said the decision of who will serve in the administration post is ultimately up to Trump, but said he should pick someone who is extremely loyal to him.

One of the other top contenders for the job, Romney, came under fire from top Trump allies, including senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, for ridiculing Trump throughout the campaign.

“The secretary of state’s role is so important to a president,” Corker told reporters following the meeting, according to a pool report. “He needs to choose someone that he’s very comfortable with and he knows that there’s going to be no daylight between him and them. He needs to know that the Secretary of state is someone who speaks fully for the president.”

Asked about whether Trump told him anything of the timeline for the decision, Corker said “we didn’t talk about that.”

“You know, he’s put together a very rapid and good team rapidly,” Corker said, adding, “I think he’ll make the decision when he’s comfortable. My sense is he’s narrowed it down to a very small group of people.”

Trump’s meeting with Corker came just one day after the Manhattan billionaire met with former CIA Director David Petraeus and hours ahead of a dinner with Romney, other favourites to be secretary of state, as the drama surrounding the selection reached new heights.

Corker called the discussion “wide-ranging” and said “his instincts on foreign policy are obviously very good.”

“I know he has a number of outstanding individuals that he’s talking with,” the Tennessee Republican said, according to a pool report. “I was glad to be here and glad to see more fully some of what his views about the world are.”

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