Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani has removed himself from consideration for the position of secretary of state, according to a statement from President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team.
The statement says that Giuliani told Mr. Trump on November 29th that he no longer wanted to run the State Department. Giuliani, a close and unequivocating Trump ally, had been thought to be a top candidate for the post.
“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,” Giuliani is quoted as saying in the statement. “This is not about me; it is about what is best for the country and the new administration.”
According to the statement, Giuliani will return to the private sector but will assist Mr. Trump “in any way he deems necessary and appropriate.”
Giuliani, a foreign policy hawk who ran for president in 2008, was thought to have been the early front-runner for Secretary of State. Since last month, however, several other names have been floated as potential picks, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson.
Soon after news broke that Giuliani had bowed out, he was already discouraging Mr. Trump from choosing one of the candidates. In light of the intense criticism Romney leveled at Mr. Trump during the campaign, “My advice would be Mitt went just a little bit too far,” he told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto Friday afternoon.
Though the Trump team’s announcement said specifically that Mr. Giuliani had taken himself out of the running on Nov. 29, on Friday morning, a top adviser for Mr. Trump, Kellyanne Conway, in an interview with “Fox & Friends,” mentioned Giuliani’s name when she listed the contenders. “You’ve got Governor Romney, Mayor Giuliani, another general, Petraeus,” she said.