Washington, Nov 22: US President-elect Donald Trump has said his former bete noire Mitt Romney, who had called him a "con man, phony and fraud" during the election campaign, wants to be his Secretary of State, a media report has said.
During a meeting with television journalists and chief executives on Monday, Trump, 70, also said that he wanted to have a military man to head the Department of Defense this time, the report said.
"Trump said he believes it is time to have someone from the military as secretary of defence and mentioned that former presidential candidate Mitt Romney 'really wants' the Secretary of State position," 'Politico' reported based on the information obtained from those present in the meeting.
One of Trump's most vocal Republican Party critics, Romney had met the President-elect on Saturday. However, there has been no public confirmation from the presidential transition team. After his meeting with Trump, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich favoured Rudy Giuliani, the former New York Mayor for the position of Secretary of State.
"I think there are huge advantages to Rudy Giuliani frankly, I think that, if you want someone who is going to go out and be a very tough negotiator for America and represent American interest in the way that Trump campaigned, I think that probably Rudy is a better pick and has the right temperament," Gingrich told reporters.
"Because we're going to need somebody who is a fighter. We're going to need somebody, the world is not going to change just because we show up and say please. If that was going to work, Secretary Kerry would be successful," he said in response to a question.
The Trump Campaign manager Kellylanne Conway said Trump had not spoken with Romney after their meeting. "They both recognised they had a rough and tumble campaign. I mean, a week before that, President-elect Trump had great practice in meeting with President Obama, and they had exchanged barbs on the campaign trail days earlier," she said.
"I think that everyone agrees that they love this country and they want to help this transition into the next administration," Conway said. Meanwhile, top Republican Senator John McCain yesterday appeared to be supporting Trump's potential pick Gen (rtd) James Mattis as the Defence Secretary.
"I am pleased that the President-elect found General Jim Mattis as impressive as I have in the many years I have had the privilege of knowing him. General Mattis is one of the finest military officers of his generation and an extraordinary leader who inspires a rare and special admiration of his troops," McCain said.
"He is a forthright strategic thinker. His integrity is unshakable and unquestionable. And he has earned his knowledge and experience the old-fashioned way: in the crucible of our nation's defence and the service of heroes," he said.
"General Mattis has a clear understanding of the many challenges facing the Department of Defence, the US military, and our national security. I hope he has an opportunity to serve America again," McCain said.
In a tweet, Trump has indicated that Mattis is his favourite pick for the Department of Defence.