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Trump's Aides Divided In Hunt For Sec. Of State

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) - President elect Donald Trump's search for a Secretary of State has taken a dramatic turn.

Trump has called back Mitt Romney back for a second look as a top aide leads a public pressure campaign against the pick.

Trump has the follow-up meeting Tuesday with the 2012 GOP presidential nominee. He also plans to sit with Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. On Monday, Trump spent an hour with retired Gen. David Petraeus, a new contender.

Aides were divided over Trump's choices. Senior adviser Kellyanne Conway has warned that Trump's supporters would feel "betrayed" if he tapped Romney.

Meanwhile, Trump's pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services has drawn sharp criticism from the incoming Senate Democratic leader.

Senator Chuck Schumer said in a statement early Tuesday that Georgia Rep. Tom Price "has proven to be far out of the mainstream of what Americans want when it comes to Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, and Planned Parenthood."

Schumer said those programs have helped millions of Americans, including "seniors, families, people with disabilities and women have access to quality, affordable health care."

Having Price as HHS secretary, Schumer said, "is akin to asking the fox to guard the hen house."

Florida congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was also vehemently opposed to Price's nomination.

"As HHS Secretary, Congressman Price, an avowed opponent of the Affordable Care Act, will lead the charge to take health care away from the 20 million people who gained access to coverage thanks to Obamacare," said Wasserman Schultz in a statement. "He will drag us back to the dark times when 129 million Americans who live with a pre-existing condition like me, a breast cancer survivor, could be dropped or denied coverage."

A Trump spokesman said Price will have as his top mission of replacing the so-called "Obamacare" health care law.

Price said he'll work to ensure a health care system based on "sensible rules."

Price, an orthopedic surgeon, said the system should work for patients, families and doctors but it should be balanced "protect the well-being of the country while embracing its innovative spirit."

The president-elect has also reportedly picked Elaine Chao to be the Secretary of Transportation. Chao served as the Secretary of Labor under President George W. Bush.

On Tuesday, Trump raised eyebrows when he posted on Twitter that anyone who burns an American flag should face unspecified "consequences," such as jail or a loss of citizenship.


The president-elect's tweet is a direct conflict with free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution. In 1969, the Supreme Court ruled that flag-burning is protected by the First Amendment.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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