Tags: Giuliani | State Department | Trump | Cabinet | Challenge

Giuliani: Secretary of State Was Only Challenge Left for Me

Image: Giuliani: Secretary of State Was Only Challenge Left for Me

(AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 21 Dec 2016 09:13 AM

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, once in the running to be nominated as secretary of State, denied Wednesday that President-elect Donald Trump forgot about him and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, when it came to cabinet post nominations.

"He didn't forget about us," Giuliani told Fox News "Fox & Friends," following a question about if he and Christie "look at each other" and ask how Trump forgot them.

"He offered me some cabinet positions, which I'm very, very thankful for. It just didn't work out in terms of my private life."

In addition, Giuliani said that at 72, the only challenge he wanted to accept was that of heading the State Department.

"He offered me jobs that probably at a different time in my life I would have taken in a minute," said Giuliani, who had served as a key surrogate of Trump's during the presidential campaign. "They'd have been a great honor. I've got a big law firm; I've got a consulting firm. I am extremely busy."

But at his age and at this point in his life, "there was only one challenge that really was left for me. The others wouldn't have been a challenge."

The former mayor, who became a national household name after his response to the 9/11 attacks, had made it clear that he was not interested in two of the possible positions open to him, as attorney general or as the secretary of Homeland Security. Giuliani wanted to head either State or Defense, a former adviser told The New York Times

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., was eventually nominated as attorney general, with retired Gen. James Mattis getting the Defense nod. The secretary of State spot, meanwhile, went to Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, after Trump interviewed several candidates for the cabinet post, including 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney, a frequent critic during the 2016 election.

Giuliani still backs Trump and considers him a friend, and said he does believe he can be a "very effective spokesman for his policies, maybe with a little more independence."

"You know, I'm independent," Giuliani said. "I say what I think. I think I can be very effective for his policies on the outside as somebody people can look to and say, well, he's not appointed by Donald Trump, but he's telling us what he really thinks.'"

On Tuesday, Trump met at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida with two potential picks to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, the show noted. Both men have extensive experience in operating major healthcare related businesses, and are likely under consideration because of the continued issues with the nation's VA hospitals.

According to a transcript of a daily media briefing posted in The Washington Post, Trump's meetings included Luis Quinonez, the CEO of IQ Management Inc., and Dr. Toby Cosgrove, CEO and president of the Cleveland Clinic.

Quinonez, described as a "tremendous supporter of the president-elect and the Republican National Committee" oversees a multibillion dollar company related to military and healthcare. IQ Management has 2,200 direct medical staff and a network of 25,000 doctors and nearly 8,000 pharmacists.

Cosgrove, meanwhile, presides over a $5 billion health care system and is a member of the president-elect's Strategic and Policy Forum.

"He's ingenious at picking people," said Giuliani. "He picks really, really good people. He knows what he wants.

"He knows what he wants, first of all, to take the hospitals that are good, maintain them, keep them good. Take the hospitals that are bad, phase them out, and also to grant veterans cards so they can go to a hospital of their choice."

Giuliani noted that he personally ran "the second largest public health hospital system in the country. The health and hospitals corporation of New York City that has 13 hospitals.What I did very simple. I wanted to privatize it. They wouldn't let me.

"I laid off 12,000 people. I brought in a great manager. With 12,000 people, the five hospitals that were on the watch list all got taken off and became a much better system. It can be done."

Trump's picks show he's living up to his campaign promises, said Giuliani.

"Peace through strength, which means build up the army, give us the resources so we are by far the largest military force in the world, that people are not going to take lightly, like they do now," said Giuliani.

"We're to not going to draw red lines and back down. I think on the domestic front, he's brought in some people that really understand how to rejuvenate our economy. Wall Street is certainly reflecting that big time."

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Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, once in the running to be nominated as secretary of State, denied Wednesday that President-elect Donald Trump forgot about him and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, when it came to cabinet post nominations.
Giuliani, State Department, Trump, Cabinet, Challenge
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2016-13-21
Wednesday, 21 Dec 2016 09:13 AM
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