Trump’s Secretary of State Choice Boils Down to Five Candidates

The suspense is building over President-elect Donald Trump’s selection for his secretary of State. On Monday, he met with retired Gen. David Petraeus amid infighting in Trump’s inner circle over who is best qualified for the ominous post.

Trump has not ruled out another controversial candidate; Mitt Romney. He is set to meet Romney again Tuesday, the real source of the friction in Team Trump. Trump’s top aides and other conservative leaders have been very public with their disdain for the man who criticized Trump vigorously throughout the campaign.

Meanwhile, Petraeus has remained a pillar of silence throughout Trump’s journey to the White House. The president-elect has brought up his name in recent weeks comparing his mishandling of classified information to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while leading the State Department.

Petraeus actually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information in April 2015. He was given a sentence of two years’ probation. The incident revolved around the fact that the former CIA director shared classified documents with his biographer, with whom he was having an affair.

david petraeus leaves trump tower.
David Petraeus leaves Trump Tower after speaking to Donald Trump.

That has not stopped Trump’s interest in the decorated general as Petraeus said the two had a “good conversation.” Trump separately said he was “very impressed.” As it looks now, the field has been narrowed to five candidates including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former UN Ambassador John Bolton, Romney and Petraeus.

An outspoken opponent of Trump throughout the election process was Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) who ran against the president-elect in the primaries. He has firmly come out against Petraeus. He feels the general’s sharing of classified information disqualifies him from the office as the nation’s top diplomat.

Paul, never a fan of Trump, ironically to the same degree as secretary of State hopeful Mitt Romney, has been critical of other names on the short list including Rudy Giuliani and John Bolton. It is hard to imagine Donald Trump is paying much attention to the junior senator from Kentucky who was one of the first GOP candidates to leave the primary race.

Dwight L. Schwab Jr. is a moderate conservative who looks at all sides of a story, then speaks his mind. He has written more than 3500 national political and foreign affairs columns. His BS in journalism from the University of Oregon, with minors in political science and American history stands him in good stead for his writing.


Dwight has 30-years in the publishing industry, including ABC/Cap Cities and International Thomson. His first book, “Redistribution of Common Sense – Selective Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009-2014,” was published in July, 2014. “The Game Changer – America’s Most Stunning Presidential Election in History,” was published in April 2017.


Dwight is a native of Portland, Oregon, and now a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.