President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team announced on Friday that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has withdrawn his name for consideration as part of Trump’s cabinet, specifically for secretary of state. Giuliani said the decision was made days earlier on Nov. 29.
“The whole thing was becoming very confusing and difficult for the President-elect and my desire to be in the cabinet was great, but it wasn’t that great, and he had a lot of terrific candidates,” Giuliani stated during an interview with Fox News after the announcement, adding that he thought he could play a better role from outside of the administration.
During the interview with Fox News, Giuliani also expressed his agreement with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, both Trump loyalists, that 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney may not be the best pick for Trump’s secretary of state.
Romney is reportedly one of at least three people being considered for the position.
“Rudy Giuliani is an extraordinarily talented and patriotic American,” Trump stated in the press release. “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.”
Giuliani is staying on as Vice Chairman of the Presidential Transition Team.
“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,” Trump added.
In the press release about the withdrawal, Giuliani explained why he was removing his name:
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.
Trump’s incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said Giuliani “was vetted by our team for any possible conflicts and passed with flying colors.” Priebus also added, “The team appreciates Rudy’s contributions to the victory and considers him a close friend and advisor.”
Giuliani said Trump remains one of his close friends and he will be attending the Army-Navy football game with him on Saturday.