Trump Won't Tap Elliott Abrams for State Department Job Due to Campaign Criticism

At the last moment, Trump changes his mind about tapping Elliott Abrams for the No. 2 State Department job.

Amir Tibon
Amir Tibon
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Elliott Abrams speaks at CPAC on February 10, 2012.
Elliott Abrams speaks at CPAC on February 10, 2012.Credit: Gage Skidmore / Wikipedia
Amir Tibon
Amir Tibon

Changing his mind at the last moment, President Donald Trump decided not to appoint Elliott Abrams, a veteran of the Bush and Reagan administrations, to the second highest position in the State Department.

Trump met Abrams this week and the meeting went well, but once the president discovered that Abrams criticized him during the election, he chose to change course and keep Abrams out of his administration.

Abrams said last February that he was considering not voting at all in the 2016 election, if the choice is between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. A few months later, he said that Trump is "not fit to sit" in the same chair as former presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Still, unlike many other veteran Republican national security officials, Abrams did not join the "Never Trump" movement, did not endorse Clinton and did not sign any petitions against Trump.

This seemed enough to position Abrams as the leading candidate for deputy secretary of state, the second-highest official in the State Department. But upon learning of Abrams' past statements, Trump told his senior staff that he will not make the appointment. CNN reported Friday that both Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus tried to convince Trump to forgive Abrams for his statements, and focus on the contribution Abrams could make to his administration in terms of experience, but the president refused.

CNN reported that even Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, who is considered very close to the president, could not sway Trump once he decided to reject Abrams.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott