Trump broadens search for secretary of state beyond Romney, Giuliani, Petraeus

President-elect Donald Trump will broaden his search for secretary of state this week beyond a short list of four candidates who emerged last month, a top aide said Sunday.

Kellyanne Conway, former campaign manager and current senior adviser to Trump, told reporters that "there'll be additional interviews with other candidates for Secretary of State" beyond the previous list of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Tennessee Sen. Cob Corker, and former General David Petraeus.

"That list is expanding because at the moment, there are no, there is not a finite list of finalists only because he will interview with additional candidates early this week," Conway said.

Trump's official picks for Cabinet and administration positions
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Trump's official picks for Cabinet and administration positions

Counselor to the President: Kellyanne Conway

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Veterans Affairs Secretary: David Shulkin

(Photo credit DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)

Transportation secretary: Elaine Chao

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Energy secretary: Rick Perry

(Photo credit KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson

 REUTERS/Daniel Kramer

Secretary of Defense: Retired Marine General James Mattis

(Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Chief of staff: Reince Priebus

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Chief strategist: Steve Bannon


Attorney General: Senator Jeff Sessions

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Director of the CIA: Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Deputy national security adviser: K.T. McFarland

(Photo by Michael Schwartz/Getty Images)

White House counsel: Donald McGahn

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Ambassador to the United Nations: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley

(Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Education secretary: Betsy DeVos

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Commerce secretary: Wilbur Ross

(Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Homeland security secretary: General John Kelly

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Housing and urban development secretary: Ben Carson

(Photo credit NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Health and human services secretary: Tom Price

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Department of Homeland Security: Retired General John Kelly

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Secretary of agriculture: Sonny Perdue

(BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)

Pressed by reporters, Conway said, "More than four but who knows how many finalists there will be."

"It's a big decision and nobody should rush through it," she said.

Conway continued: "There's many qualified people who have expressed an interest in serving. I think one thing that really strikes us, and this is not unique to this president, who is unique, but there are a number of people that we may not have thought wanted to leave their very lucrative private industry positions to go and serve the government and they are coming forth now and expressing interest and it's exciting, frankly, to at least get their counsel."

Though Conway announced earlier this week that Trump whittled down the list to four candidates, she also noted in an interview on CBS that the list "may expand" and "may narrow" in the next week, when Trump is expected to announce more nominees.

Trump's search for secretary of state has been plagued by public infighting.

Top Trump backers like Conway and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich both publicly lobbied against Romney, while informal advisers like "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough predicted on his show that Giuliani could face a difficult confirmation process because of his private sector ties abroad.

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