President-elect Donald Trump and Mitt Romney met Saturday at the billionaire's golf club in New Jersey, both emerging with smiles and a public handshake but no word on what, if any, role the 2012 GOP hopeful might play in the new administration.
Trump flashed a thumbs-up said the sit down "went great." Romney said the two had a "far reaching conversation with regards to the various theaters in the world where there are interests of the United States of real significance."
The amiable tone was a marked contrast to a rancorous year, in which Romney attacked Trump as a "con man" and a "phony." But the two have started to mend fences since the Trump's victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
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Romney was only one of a parade of officials pouring through Trump's door as the president-elect tries to fill more members of his administration. He met Saturday with education activists Michelle Rhee and Betsy DeVos, as well as retired Gen. James Mattis, considered a contender to lead the Pentagon.
Other visitors to the golf course in Beminster included included Todd Ricketts, co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, and restaurant executive Andy Puzder. Rounding out the day were financier Lew Eisenberg and health-care billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong.
Some of the visitors avoided questions, but Puzder said: "I would be proud to serve in any position this president asks me to serve in."
Emerging from the white-pillared clubhouse on the rolling green golf course late in the day, Trump said: "we're seeing tremendous talent. People that, like I say, we will 'Make America Great Again.' These are really great people. These are really, really talented people."
Asked about appointments, Trump said: "You'll hear some things tomorrow."
Trump's Sunday schedule in Bedminster includes New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
On Friday, Trump picked Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo to head the CIA, signaling a sharp rightward shift in U.S. security policy as he begins to form his Cabinet. Trump also named retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn as his national security adviser.
Trump's announcement on Friday of Sessions, Pompeo and Flynn formed the first outlines of Trump's Cabinet and national security teams. Given his lack of governing experience and vague policy proposals during the campaign, his selection of advisers is being scrutinized both in the U.S. and abroad.
Trump's initial decisions suggest a more aggressive military involvement in counterterror strategy and a greater emphasis on Islam's role in stoking extremism. Sessions, who is best known for his hard line immigration views, has questioned whether terrorist suspects should benefit from the rights available in U.S. courts. Pompeo has said Muslim leaders are "potentially complicit" in attacks if they do not denounce violence carried out in the name of Islam.
Pompeo's nomination to lead the CIA also opens the prospect of the U.S. resuming torture of detainees. Trump has backed harsh interrogation techniques that President Barack Obama and Congress have banned, saying the U.S. "should go tougher than waterboarding," which simulates drowning. In 2014, Pompeo criticized Obama for "ending our interrogation program" and said intelligence officials "are not torturers, they are patriots."
Sessions and Pompeo would both require Senate confirmation; Flynn would not.
In a separate matter Friday, it was announced that Trump had agreed to a $25 million settlement to resolve three lawsuits over Trump University, his former school for real estate investors. The lawsuits alleged the school misled students and failed to deliver on its promises in programs that cost up to $35,000.
Trump has denied the allegations and had said repeatedly he would not settle. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who announced the settlement, called it "a stunning reversal by Donald Trump and a major victory for the over 6,000 victims of his fraudulent university."
Trump tweeted to his 15 million followers Saturday that he only settled to better focus on leading the U.S.