WASHINGTON (CN) – Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has pulled his name from consideration as President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of state, Trump announced Friday.
One of Trump’s most loyal supporters, Giuliani was once considered to be on the short list for secretary of state. Trump said Giuliani withdrew his name from consideration for the job during a Nov. 29 meeting.
“I joined the campaign because I love my country and because having known Donald Trump as a friend for 28 years and observing what he has been able to accomplish, I had no doubt he would be a great president,” Giuliani said in a joint statement with Trump. “This is not about me, it is about what is best for the country and the new administration.”
Giuliani said he would go back to work at his law firm and consulting firm, and looks forward to helping Trump “in any way he deems necessary and appropriate.”
Trump said Giuliani will stay on as vice chairman of the transition team and left the door open for a Giuliani position in the administration “at a later date.”
“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 the statement.
Giuliani’s track for the job was dogged by reports of consulting work he had done for foreign governments and of speeches he gave to an Iranian group the State Department listed as a foreign terror organization until 2012.
But future White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus brushed aside any thoughts that these reports were the reason for Giuliani’s departure, saying he “was vetted by our team for any possible conflicts and passed with flying colors.”