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Secretary of State Candidate: Defeating ISIS First, Amending the Nuclear Deal Second - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Washington – President-elect Donald Trump met Tuesday with incoming Vice President Mike Pence to discuss Cabinet and top White House personnel choices. An advisor of Trump said former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani seems in a good position to be the Secretary of State. This came after Giuliani said in a statement that the coming administration’s priority will be combating terrorism.

Former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told FOX News that Giuliani is being considered for the Secretary of State Job: “His name certainly has been mentioned in a serious way in connection with Secretary of State, a job that he’s qualified for and a job that he would do exceedingly well.”

When asked whether it’s possible that Giuliani will be Secretary of State, Conway said she has discussed the matter with him and it is possible, but he would not be heading the Justice Department.

Giuliani, 72, was New York’s Mayor during the Sept. 11 attacks and led the city during the crisis after the destruction of the World Trade Centre twin towers, working closely with Former President George Bush.

Giuliani earned a reputation as a tough U.S. attorney fighting drugs, violence and organized crime in New York, and he is credited for reduced crime rates in the city.

Trump and Pence will “be reviewing a number of names” for cabinet positions, Jason Miller, a transition communications adviser, told reporters gathered at Trump Tower. Miller gave few details on the new people under consideration saying: “You can’t believe everything you read. I don’t want to play the speculation game as far as names.

One source cited by CNN described the intense lobbying as a “knife fight.”

Trump appears to be torn between a campaign promise to shake up Washington and the need to build a cabinet with political experience and connections with Congress.

Several U.S. media reported that among the names discussed for the Secretary of State position, Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton has been mentioned. Bolton was a huge supporter for the Iraq invasion in 2003.

The Former NY Mayor confirmed that Trump’s priority will be to eliminate ISIS.

“ISIS, short-term, I believe, is the greatest danger,” Giuliani said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Monday. “And not because ISIS is in Iraq and in Syria but because ISIS did something al-Qaeda never did. ISIS was able to spread itself around the world,” he added.

The President-elect has not revealed his strategy for defeating ISIS on the battlefield during his presidential campaign and after winning Trump was repeatedly asked about his plans for fighting the terrorist group.

He replied by insisting that he’d rather not reveal his plans because he doesn’t want to tip off the enemy.

Regarding the Middle East, Giuliani warned against regional tensions which could lead to war. He said that the Iraq invasion was one of U.S. foreign policies’ worst mistakes.

Giuliani, who was always a critic of the nuclear deal with Iran negotiated by the Obama administration, seemed to back off of a total withdrawal from that agreement, suggesting that reworking the deal would be a lower priority than combating terrorism.

“You have to set priorities. So if the priority is, let’s eliminate ISIS, maybe you put that off a little bit. And you get rid of ISIS first. And then you get back to that,” Giuliani said.

He dismissed any threat posed by Moscow, saying that the Trump administration will work for more cooperative relationships with Russia and China, while also suggesting that Obama’s administration made Russia an enemy.

“Russia thinks it’s a military competitor, it really isn’t,” Giuliani said. “It’s our unwillingness under Obama to even threaten the use of our military that makes Russia so powerful.”

The former NY Mayor said a Trump administration would “prefer to engage with (China) on economic issues such as trade.”