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Report: Trump wanted Romney to apologize in exchange for secretary of state nomination — he refused

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Former Republican presidential nominee and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has reportedly refused to apologize for his criticism of President-elect Donald Trump during the campaign, a move that possibly cost him the nomination for secretary of state.

CNN reported Wednesday that some within Trump's inner circle, most notably Trump's former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and incoming White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, did not support Trump naming Romney as the next secretary of state because of his comments about the president-elect on the campaign trail.

Calling Trump a "phony," a "fraud" and just about everything in between, Romney was very outspoken in the "Never Trump" movement. But Romney softened his tone after Trump's conciliatory victory speech in which he called for all Americans to come together.

As the Trump transition went forward, Trump himself seemed more and more willing to let bygones be bygones and was even strongly considering making Romney part of his Cabinet. But others within Trump's world saw things differently. Conway, Bannon and others wanted Romney to issue a public apology if he were to become secretary of state, CNN said.

Trump reportedly agreed, seeing the apology as a compromise after a bitter campaign battle. Romney would admit he we wrong about Trump and the nation's top diplomat. But Romney, who wrote a book in 2010 titled "No Apology," refused to say "sorry," even though Vice President-elect Mike Pence and incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus reportedly thought Romney should apologize publicly.

Trump ultimately nominated ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, who politicians from both sides of the aisle have criticized for his close business ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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