President-elect Donald Trump’s former campaign manager and current senior adviser Kellyanne Conway reportedly rejected an offer to be Trump’s White House communications director before publicly criticizing Mitt Romney, a possible pick for secretary of state.
The Associated Press reported Tuesday, citing unnamed sources, that Conway was more interested in serving as an outside political adviser than in the communications director and press secretary positions Trump reportedly offered her. Politico, citing a single unnamed source, similarly reported that Conway rejected Trump’s offer to be communications director.
Conway’s supposed preference to advise Trump from outside of his administration, Politico noted, would leave her free to criticize parts of Trump’s transition, namely his reported consideration of Romney as secretary of state.
In a Monday statement to the New York Times, Trump said that he had “encouraged” Conway to speak her mind publicly about his decisions.
Conway has been vocally critical of the former Massachusetts governor, whose rumored consideration for the State Department she has depicted in cable news appearances as an insult to Trump voters who rejected establishment Republicans in favor of the President-elect.
Trump’s statement and these two reports come on the heels of a Monday report from MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that cited multiple people “at the top of the Trump transition team” who claimed Trump was “furious” with Conway for criticizing Romney publicly.