WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump is expanding his pool of candidates for secretary of state, leaving unclear whether former CIA Director David Petraeus’ guilty plea for leaking classified information disqualifies him to serve as the nation’s top diplomat.
“There’s not a finite list of candidates” for secretary of state, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway told reporters on Sunday. “More than four. Who knows how many finalists there will be?”
The remark comes a week after Trump’s aides confirmed that the president-elect had settled on four finalists for the post. Two people close to the transition told The Associated Press that Trump is moving away from two of the four: former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.
That would leave Petraeus as a contender, along with Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Both people close to the transition said Trump’s prolonged decision-making process has left the door open to other options. Among other possibilities, one official says is Jon Huntsman, a former Republican Utah governor who also served as the ambassador to China and speaks Mandarin.
The people close to the transition spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the private process publicly.