Once bitter rivals, Trump and Romney smile and shake hands

  • President-elect Donald Trump gives the thumbs-up as Mitt Romney leaves the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., on Saturday. The 2012 GOP presidential nominee one of several prominent names to meet with Trump on Saturday. AP

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    Vice President-elect Mike Pence, top center, leaves the Richard Rodgers Theatre after a performance of "Hamilton," in New York, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki) Andres Kudacki

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    In this image made from a video provided by Hamilton LLC, actor Brandon Victor Dixon who plays Aaron Burr, the nation’s third vice president, in "Hamilton" speaks from the stage after the curtain call in New York, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. Vice President-elect Mike Pence is the latest celebrity to attend the Broadway hit "Hamilton," but the first to get a sharp message from a cast member from the stage. (Hamilton LLC via AP)

  • In this photo taken Nov. 17, 2016, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. speaks to media at Trump Tower in New York. President-elect Donald Trump has picked Sessions for the job of attorney general. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Carolyn Kaster

  • In this photo taken Oct. 16, 2015, Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kansas speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. According to a Trump official, Pompeo to be nominated for CIA director. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Jacquelyn Martin

  • President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence pause for photographs as they arrive at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, N.J., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Carolyn Kaster

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    Heavily armed police stand guard as a motorcade carrying Vice President-elect Mike Pence, center, leaves the Richard Rodgers Theatre after a performance of "Hamilton," in New York, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki) Andres Kudacki

  • President-elect Donald Trump give the thumbs-up as he arrives at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, N.J., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Carolyn Kaster

  • President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence turn to enter Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, N.J., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, after pausing for photographs. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Carolyn Kaster

  • Mitt Romney talks to media after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in Bedminster, N.J., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Carolyn Kaster

  • President-elect Donald Trump and Mitt Romney shake hands as Romney leaves Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in Bedminster, N.J., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Carolyn Kaster

  • President-elect Donald Trump waves as Mitt Romney leaves Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in Bedminster, N.J., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Carolyn Kaster

Associated Press
Published: 11/19/2016 10:43:00 PM

President-elect Donald Trump and Mitt Romney met Saturday at the billionaire’s golf club in New Jersey, putting a year of conflict aside for a smiling handshake – though they did not indicate what, if any, role the 2012 GOP hopeful might play in the new administration.

Trump flashed a thumbs-up and said the sit down “went great.” Romney said the two had a “far reaching conversation with regards to the various theaters in the world where there are interests of the United States of real significance.”

The amiable tone was a marked contrast to a rancorous year, in which Romney attacked Trump as a “con man” and a “phony.” But the two have started to mend fences since the Trump’s victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Romney was only one of a parade of officials pouring through Trump’s door as the president-elect tries to fill more members of his administration. He met Saturday with education activists Michelle Rhee and Betsy DeVos, as well as retired Gen. James Mattis, considered a contender to lead the Pentagon.

Emerging from the white-pillared clubhouse on the rolling green golf course late in the day, Trump said: “We’re seeing tremendous talent. People that, like I say, we will ‘Make America Great Again.’ These are really great people. These are really, really talented people.”

Asked about appointments, Trump said: “You’ll hear some things tomorrow.”

Trump’s Sunday schedule in Bedminster includes New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

On Friday, Trump picked Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo to head the CIA, signaling a sharp rightward shift in U.S. security policy as he begins to form his Cabinet. Trump also named retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn as his national security adviser.

Trump’s announcement of Sessions, Pompeo and Flynn formed the first outlines of Trump’s Cabinet and national security teams. Given his lack of governing experience and vague policy proposals during the campaign, his selection of advisers is being scrutinized both in the U.S. and abroad.

Trump’s initial decisions suggest a more aggressive military involvement in counterterror strategy and a greater emphasis on Islam’s role in stoking extremism. Sessions, who is best known for his hard line immigration views, has questioned whether terrorist suspects should benefit from the rights available in U.S. courts. Pompeo has said Muslim leaders are “potentially complicit” in attacks if they do not denounce violence carried out in the name of Islam.

Pompeo’s nomination to lead the CIA also opens the prospect of the U.S. resuming torture of detainees. Trump has backed harsh interrogation techniques that President Obama and Congress have banned, saying the U.S. “should go tougher than waterboarding,” which simulates drowning. In 2014, Pompeo criticized Obama for “ending our interrogation program” and said intelligence officials “are not torturers, they are patriots.”

Sessions and Pompeo would both require Senate confirmation; Flynn would not.

In a separate matter Friday, it was announced that Trump had agreed to a $25 million settlement to resolve three lawsuits over Trump University, his former school for real estate investors. The lawsuits alleged the school misled students and failed to deliver on its promises in programs that cost up to $35,000.

Trump has denied the allegations and had said repeatedly he would not settle. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called it “a stunning reversal by Donald Trump and a major victory for the over 6,000 victims of his fraudulent university.”




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