Mitt Romney Out of Race to Be Trump's Secretary of State

Romney had been a contender for the position.

December 12, 2016, 10:15 PM

— -- Mitt Romney, who clashed bitterly with Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign, is out of the running to be the president-elect's secretary of state, two senior Trump transition officials said.

Trump called Romney this evening to tell him that he was not chosen, according to the officials. ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson has emerged as the likely choice/a> for the position and Trump is set to make an announcement Tuesday morning.

The officials describe the conversation between Trump and Romney as "respectful" and one called it a "great talk."

In a Facebook post, Romney acknowledged that the transition team had moved on.

During the campaign, Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts and GOP presidential candidate, was a vocal critic of Trump's.

In March, he called Trump a "phony" and "a fraud."

“His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University," Romney told the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, referring to the scandal surrounding Trump's now-defunct school. "He's playing the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat.”

Romney also said "Dishonesty is Trump's hallmark."

"We will only really know if he is the real deal or a phony if he releases his tax returns and the tape of his interview with The New York Times," he added. Trump became the first presidential candidate in decades not to release his taxes.

Trump lambasted Romney as "irrelevant" and a "choke artist" who waged a failed campaign in 2012.

“So when Mitt started raising his head a few months ago, I was very strong," Trump said. "I said, Mitt Romney should not run. He's a choke artist.”

After the election, Romney raised eyebrows by meeting with Trump as he emerged as a top contender for secretary of state.

The men even dined together at the famed Jean-Georges restaurant in New York.

"I've had a wonderful evening with President-elect Trump," Romney said after the dinner. "We had another discussion about affairs throughout the world, and these discussions I have had with him have been enlightening and interesting and engaging. I have enjoyed them very, very much."

Related Topics

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events