On Tuesday night former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who had been one of Donald Trump’s harshest critics during the campaign, had dinner with the President-elect in a slavishly craven effort to gain Trump’s approval as secretary of state.
Romney, who had called Trump ‘a fraud,’ and ‘dangerous’ emerged from what he said was a “wonderful evening” with a different assessment, saying the meeting was “enlightening” and that he was hopeful Trump’s vision will lead the U.S. to a “better future.”
Romney’s comments, in stark contrast to his previous condemnation of Trump’s racism and misogyny as well as his assessment that Trump was “playing the American public for suckers” were quickly panned on social media.
After the dinner, Romney also praised Trump’s picks so far for cabinet. He called the rabid anti-social security campaigner Tom Price, who is Trump’s pick as Health and Human Services Secretary, an “expert and solid thinker.” Trump’s pick of Price, who has long called for slashing Social Security and other entitlement programs, seems to cast doubts on Trump’s promises to preserve the program which supports millions of low-income retirees.
Romney said that Trump’s pick for Attorney General, Jeff Session, who was rejected as a Supreme Court nominee for his racist comments and used his time in Congress to oppose the voting rights act as well as birthright citizenship, had a “distinguished career.”
Romney’s about-face comes as many fear that the real danger of a Trump presidency lies in those Trump appoints to key roles, from his Christian-supremacist Vice-President Mike Pence, to school privatizer Betsy DeVos.
The New York Times has reported that Trump, who campaigned against Wall Street hedge fund managers and pledged to “drain the swamp” of corporate influence in D.C., appears to have picked former Goldman Sachs partner and hedge fund manager Steven Mnuchin as his Secretary of the Treasury. Mnuchin’s hedge fund made millions of dollars on the forclosure of thousands of homes in California after it bought IndyMac, a failing California bank and major mortgage holder.
Trump is reported to also be considering long-time Islamaphobe and creator of New York’s racist “stop and frisk” policing strategy Rudolf Guliani for the position of secretary of state.