Trump Advisers Hit Mitt Romney and the President-elect is not Happy About It

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Trump Advisers Hit Mitt Romney and the President-elect is not Happy About It - CitizenSlant

President-elect Donald Trump’s top advisers have been escalating their attacks on Mitt Romney, increasingly letting their discontent boil over into TV news.

The public airing of grievances is extraordinary and seemingly escalating. On Sunday, in a series of interviews on political news shows, Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway argued firmly against Romney as a pick for Secretary of State, echoing the internal beliefs of many in Trump’s inner circle.

Conway’s comments on Romney were at times jaw-dropping, even suggesting that fracturing the party is not worth the nomination. “I’m all for party unity, but I’m not sure that we have to pay for that with the Secretary of State position,” Conway told CNN.

She claimed that her comments reflected conservatives’ opposition to Romney, though it is unclear who those conservatives were short of Trump’s hardline supporters. “It’s just breathtaking in scope and intensity,” she said of the opposition to Romney among Trump supporters. She went so far as to label their reaction to a potential nomination as “betrayal.”

The public airing of discontent over Romney is a reflection of the strife in Trump’s close advisers, with the likes of Conway and Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon advocating for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to fil the post, while Vice President-elect Mike Pence is advocating a much more moderate and experienced Mitt Romney — a choice which is likely much more popular with Senate Republicans, who will have to confirm any nomination for the position.

Republican political strategist, and staunch Trump critic, Ana Navarro seemed to believe that the public Romney-bashing was a coordinated effort which included Trump, himself, in order to punish Romney. “Attacks on Romney not a solo act,” she said. “Trump coordinated payback/humbling.” However, most agree that such coordination is much more sophisticated than anything Trump can muster or has mustered in the past — he tends to be much more direct and an off the cuff reactionary.

Following the lead of her boss, Conway did not let any comment go unanswered, no matter how unnecessary. She tweeted back to Ana Navarro:

While Conway has, in the past, deflected questions regarding internal strife and disagreements, on Sunday, she did anything but. Instead, she doubled down on her critique, a sign that the team is frustrated with its internal urging of the President-elect about moving away from former Massachusetts Governor.

And Conway was not alone. Newt Gingrich was openly making his feelings known on news shows. Appearing on Fox News, Gingrich said, “I think there’s nothing that Mitt Romney can say that doesn’t sound phony and, frankly, pathetic.” He added later,

“Speaking for most of the Trump supporters, while we will support President-elect Trump and whatever he does, I think we would be enormously disappointed if he brought Mitt Romney into any position of authority.”

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough even weighed in on the debate by tweeting, “So Rudy tells the world what position he will and will not accept from Trump while Kellyanne attacks Trump’s choices in public. Wow.”

He continued by saying, “Giuliani and Conway are trying to intimidate the President-elect. How weak do they think he is? Their lack of discretion is embarrassing.”

Perhaps Scarborough has a personal opinion on the subject, and is also keenly aware of Trump’s obsession with the cable news shows. After all, Trump is a true populist in that he has no anchor of his own, instead tending to be swayed solely by outside voices, which his critics claim make him exactly as weak as Scarborough jokes in his tweets. Scarborough continued, “Now all world leaders will be watching to see if a President Trump can be bullied by his staff.”

On his show on Monday, Scarborough cited anonymous sources at the top of Trump’s transition team, saying that Trump is “furious” with Conway over attacking Romney in her Sunday interviews. One source reportedly told MSNBC that “Kellyanne went rogue at Donald Trump’s expense.” Another source said that there is a growing sentiment within the transition team that Conway has been promoting her own agenda rather than the President-elect’s.

The former campaign manager and senior adviser responded by calling the reports “false,” and “sexist.” She also made sure to respond to Scarborough’s tweets:

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