President Trump reportedly took Elliot Abrams off the shortlist of deputy secretary of state candidates after he found out the foreign policy expert had criticized him during the presidential campaign, CNN reported Friday, citing "Republican sources." Trump's secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, as well as White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and senior adviser Jared Kushner, apparently pushed back against Trump's concerns and tried to convince Trump to offer the job to Abrams, a former deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser under former President George W. Bush. Tillerson reportedly felt like he "needed Abrams' experience."
Trump's meeting with Abrams — which happened prior to Trump finding out about the criticism — had gone "well," CNN reported. One Republican called Trump's decision a "loss for the State Department and the country and for that matter, for the president." "This was Donald Trump's thin skin and nothing else," another Republican told CNN.