Gov. Nikki Haley Reportedly Being Considered for U.S. Secretary of State

by | November 17, 2016

By Bristow Marchant and Cassie Cope

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley and Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster are contenders for positions in President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet.

Haley will meet face-to-face with president-elect Donald Trump in New York City on Thursday, his transition office confirmed on Wednesday night.

Trump's transition team approached McMaster, a former S.C. attorney general, about possibly being U.S. attorney general. "I've been asked if I would be interested," said McMaster, the first statewide elected official nationally to endorse Trump.

In addition, members of Trump's presidential transition team have discussed Haley as a potential secretary of state and for at least one other position, McMaster said, declining to name that post. "Her name has been mentioned," McMaster said, adding, "The depths of consideration for the various names that have been mentioned for various things, I couldn't tell you."

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough tweeted Wednesday that Haley, a second-term governor, reportedly is being considered by the Trump transition team for secretary of state.

Other names being floated for the nation's chief diplomat include: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former U.N. ambassador John Bolton.

The choice of Haley would be surprising.

She opposed Trump during the GOP's primary season, endorsing first U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and, after Rubio dropped out, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, the last Trump challenger.

Trump and Haley have clashed on Twitter, where Trump said South Carolinians were embarrassed by the governor. Haley responded dismissively, "Bless your heart."

As a governor, Haley has limited foreign policy experience other than trips abroad -- to Canada, England, France, Germany, India and Japan -- for business recruitment. Also, she was elected vice chair of the Republican Governors Association on Wednesday and is expected to become chairman of that group in 2018.

The governor's office declined to comment Wednesday on the speculation.

McMaster, meanwhile, previously has said he planned to run for the GOP nomination for governor in 2018, when Haley's second term ends.

(c)2016 The State (Columbia, S.C.)