GOP strategist Karl Rove says Donald TrumpDonald TrumpIssa declared winner in reelection battle Overnight Defense: Trump meets with Petraeus | Bill would give WWII heroes Congressional Gold Medal We can’t let tax extenders obstruct comprehensive reform MORE adviser and former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway is making the president-elect “look weak” by publicly attacking his consideration of Mitt Romney for secretary of State.
“This is destructive,” Rove said Monday on Fox News. “This first of all suggests that Donald Trump is weak. When his inner circle, his closest advisers are publicly telling people, ‘This is the advice I gave my chief and he isn’t listening to me,’ it makes him look weak.”
Reports emerged earlier Monday that Trump is meeting with Romney a second time, despite turmoil within his inner circle over the latter’s fitness to lead the State Department. Rove said Conway’s criticism of Romney has put Trump in a tough spot regarding the 2012 GOP presidential nominee.
“If he settles on Romney, his closest advisers told him not to do it. If he settles on somebody else, it’s going to be there was anger about Romney and he couldn’t stand up to that anger. Better to have given that advice in private and let him make his decision one way or the other.
“This is going to inhibit the free flow of private, confidential advice to the president, which is one of the most important commodities inside the White House.”
Romney was a fierce critic of the billionaire during the 2016 race, and Conway on Sunday blasted his potential role in the Trump administration, questioning his loyalty to the president-elect.
“I’m all for party unity, but I’m not sure we have to pay for that with the secretary of State position,” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I think there are concerns that those of us that are loyal have, and we want a secretary of State who’s loyal to the president.”
MSNBC reported earlier Monday that Trump’s top aides are “baffled” by Conway’s public actions, which have left the president-elect “furious.”