Gi­u­liani out as Trump nar­rows diplo­mat pick

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

GRAND RAPIDS: Don­ald Trump plunged his quest for Amer­ica’s next top diplo­mat back into the spot­light Fri­day by con­firm­ing that one fron­trun­ner, out­spo­ken for­mer New York mayor Rudy Gi­u­liani, will not join his cab­i­net. Gi­u­liani had made no se­cret of his desire for the job, but came un­der me­dia scru­tiny over busi­ness deal­ings that could pose con­flicts of in­ter­est.

He was one of Trump’s most ar­dent sup­port­ers in the bit­terly di­vi­sive elec­tion but others were alarmed about the prospect of 72-year-old known for abra­sive rhetoric head­ing up the largest diplo­matic mis­sion in the world. Ob­servers in the United States and around the world have been on ten­ter­hooks over who the in­com­ing Repub­li­can will pick as they wait to see whether Trump will make good on threats to rip up treaties and free trade agree­ments. With the de­ci­sion ex­pected next week, the pres­i­den­t­elect an­nounced Fri­day that Gi­u­liani had re­moved his name from con­tention as far back as Novem­ber 29.

“Rudy would have been an out­stand­ing mem­ber of the cab­i­net in sev­eral roles, but I fully re­spect and un­der­stand his rea­sons for re­main­ing in the pri­vate sec­tor,” Trump said in a state­ment. Gi­u­liani, a for­mer fed­eral pros­e­cu­tor, earned the moniker “Amer­ica’s Mayor” for his lead­er­ship of New York in the wake of the Septem­ber 11 at­tacks.

“This is not about me; it is about what is best for the coun­try and the new ad­min­is­tra­tion,” he said in a state­ment re­leased by Trump’s team, con­firm­ing that he would con­tinue to work in his law and con­sult­ing firms. The New York Times re­ported that Rex Tiller­son, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Exxon Mo­bil, was now the lead­ing can­di­date to be­come sec­re­tary of state. Tiller­son met Trump in New York on Tues­day.

New picks next week

For­mer Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Mitt Rom­ney, a fierce critic of Trump dur­ing the cam­paign, is thought to re­main in the run­ning. But the Times said Trump had “in­di­cated to sev­eral peo­ple” that the for­mer Mas­sachusetts gov­er­nor was now un­likely to be named. In an interview with Fox News, Gi­u­liani fol­lowed other ar­dent Trump loy­al­ists in coun­sel­ing against Rom­ney, com­plain­ing that he “went just a lit­tle too far” in sav­aging Trump dur­ing the cam­paign sea­son.

“You can make friends and make up, but I would not see him as a can­di­date for the cab­i­net,” Gi­u­liani told Fox. Trump’s ap­point­ments so far in­clude four bil­lion­aires and three gen­er­als in a su­per-rich, con­ser­va­tive and largely white in­ner cir­cle set to run the United States from Jan­uary 20. Many in­com­ing cab­i­net mem­bers have railed against the worker pro­tec­tions and en­vi­ron­men­tal and cor­po­rate reg­u­la­tions en­acted by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama.

Trump told a vic­tory rally in Michi­gan that “phe­nom­e­nal” new names would be an­nounced next week, but de­clined to give specifics. The stop in Grand Rapids was the fifth cam­paign-style event since the Novem­ber 8 elec­tion as he soaks up adu­la­tion from sup­port­ers in key states that helped se­cure his elec­toral win over Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton.

The pres­i­dent-elect de­fends his picks as “some of the most suc­cess­ful peo­ple in the world” but when his choice for ed­u­ca­tion sec­re­tary, bil­lion­aire Betsy DeVos, took the stage in Michi­gan, she was heck­led by some pro­test­ers. A num­ber of pro­test­ers were forcibly re­moved from the floor at dif­fer­ent points dur­ing the even­ing. “Where do these peo­ple come from? Un­be­liev­able,” said Trump as the crowd re­sponded with chants of “U-S-A! U-S-A!”

Oil re­finer­ies

He used the rally to name Michi­gan res­i­dent and Aus­tralian-born Dow Chem­i­cal ex­ec­u­tive An­drew Liveris as head of a na­tional man­u­fac­tur­ing coun­cil. Liveris said his com­pany was go­ing to in­vest in a new re­search and de­vel­op­ment cen­ter in Michi­gan that would cre­ate hun­dreds of jobs-with job cre­ation one of Trump’s key prom­ises. The pres­i­dent-elect also re­hashed his com­plaints about a Boe­ing con­tract to build two new Air Force One jets, which he claims has es­ca­lated to $4 bil­lion. “I’m not pay­ing $4 bil­lion for an air­plane,” he told the crowd.

At a rally in Louisiana ear­lier on Fri­day, the pres­i­dent-elect said he wanted to see more oil re­finer­ies built in the United States, and pledged to do away with “jobkilling re­stric­tions” sup­press­ing the en­ergy sec­tor. He also de­liv­ered a veiled warn­ing to Amer­ica’s ri­vals around the world, stat­ing he would be pre­pared to boost US mil­i­tary pro­duc­tion to keep pace with coun­tries like China, which is rapidly mod­ern­iz­ing its armed forces. “We’re go­ing to have the strong­est mil­i­tary in the world, the most up­dated mil­i­tary in the world. And there has rarely been a time where we have needed it like this,” he told the crowd in Michi­gan.

EAU CLAIRE: In this Nov 1, 2016 file photo, for­mer New York City Mayor Rudy Gi­u­liani cam­paigns for Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump at the Univer­sity of Wis­con­sin Eau Claire.

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