WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 (UPI) — At the end of the first full week since the election of Donald Trump, the president-elect’s inner circle is starting to come into focus with the selection of a national security adviser and growing possibility for former presidential candidate Mitt Romney to be offered a cabinet position.
Trump offered retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn the job of national security adviser, inviting one of Trump’s strongest campaign backers to an important While House role.
Word also leaked late Thursday that Romney, who Trump has been significantly critical of in the past, would be meeting with the president-elect on Saturday and is in consideration for secretary of state.
While there has been no announcement that Flynn accepted the offer, his selection makes sense considering his role as an adviser and supporter during the presidential campaign.
Flynn has attracted some scrutiny in the past, calling the U.S. response to the rise of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh, weak and getting himself fired by President Barack Obama for public criticism of U.S. military policy.
Some say Trump’s selection of Flynn suggests a more aggressive approach to the war on terrorism is in the cards for the incoming administration, which is what Trump campaigned on, as he has argued that “Islam is a political ideology” that requires a harder tactic than those the U.S. has thus far used.
Flynn’s seeming affinity for Russia — he dined with Russian President Vladimir Putin — and inclination toward stronger military action would suggest he is on the same page as the Trump administration in other areas as well.
There has also been speculation Trump would choose former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani as secretary of state but Trump transition officials signaled to reporters Thursday the president-elect was considering Romney for the job. Romney is scheduled to meet with Trump in New York on Saturday.
Although Trump viciously criticized Romney during the campaign this year — saying he “choked like a dog” during his 2012 election loss to Obama — and Romney campaigned against Trump hard, suggesting he would fundamentally change the country in “dangerous” ways, the two may find common ground as the president-elect tries to unify both the Republican Party and the rest of the country to support him.