HOT SEAT

Mitt Romney ate chocolate cake with the man he called a “fraud”

Obsession
2016
Obsession
2016

Mitt Romney, formerly a fierce Donald Trump critic, met with the US president-elect in public last night (Nov. 29), giving US press a rare view inside the presidential transition process.

The pair met at the luxurious Jean Georges restaurant at the Trump International Hotel in New York, reportedly dining on frog legs, scallops, and steak with Trump’s recently named chief of staff, Reince Priebus. The dessert was chocolate cake.

In an unusual move for a team that has essentially been at war with the press while handling its own coverage of the transition, reporters were allowed to view the dinner. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who is in the running to be the Trump administration’s secretary of state (see all of Trump’s cabinet nominations here), later spoke to reporters with heavy praise for Trump—a marked change from his tone during the campaign.

Trump, meanwhile, was far less gushing, telling CNN, “Well, we’re going to see what happens.”

Romney and Trump, both avowed teetotalers, would seem to have little else in common, aside from having won their party’s nomination for president. While Trump endorsed Romney in 2012, Romney famously described Trump this year as a “phony” and a “fraud,” warning in March that a Trump presidency would pose a threat to the United States:

Here’s what I know. Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He’s playing the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat.

His domestic policies would lead to recession. His foreign policies would make America and the world less safe. He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president. And his personal qualities would mean that America would cease to be a shining city on a hill.

In one photo of their intimate dinner, the politician Romney once described as a “con man” grins widely, while Romney’s expression appears to be caught somewhere between “I’m sorry” and “help me.”

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