President-elect Donald Trump will broaden his search for secretary of state this week beyond a short list of four candidates who emerged last month, a top aide said Sunday.
Kellyanne Conway, former campaign manager and current senior adviser to Trump, told reporters that “there’ll be additional interviews with other candidates for Secretary of State” beyond the previous list of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Tennessee Sen. Cob Corker, and former General David Petraeus.
“That list is expanding because at the moment, there are no, there is not a finite list of finalists only because he will interview with additional candidates early this week,” Conway said.
Pressed by reporters, Conway said, “More than four but who knows how many finalists there will be.”
“It’s a big decision and nobody should rush through it,” she said.
Conway continued: “There’s many qualified people who have expressed an interest in serving. I think one thing that really strikes us, and this is not unique to this president, who is unique, but there are a number of people that we may not have thought wanted to leave their very lucrative private industry positions to go and serve the government and they are coming forth now and expressing interest and it’s exciting, frankly, to at least get their counsel.”
Though Conway announced earlier this week that Trump whittled down the list to four candidates, she also noted in an interview on CBS that the list “may expand” and “may narrow” in the next week, when Trump is expected to announce more nominees.
Trump’s search for secretary of state has been plagued by public infighting.
Top Trump backers like Conway and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich both publicly lobbied against Romney, while informal advisers like “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough predicted on his show that Giuliani could face a difficult confirmation process because of his private sector ties abroad.
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