Source: Trump ‘irritated’ by Conway attacks on Romney

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Conway says Trump supporters feel "betrayed"

Mitt Romney is being considered for Secretary of State

CNN  — 

President-elect Donald Trump is “irritated” with top aide Kellyanne Conway’s public campaign against Mitt Romney’s potential nomination as Secretary of State, according to a source.

The Trump source, who is familiar with the President-elect’s thinking, acknowledged the existence of an internal feud between Conway and chief of staff Reince Priebus, specifically about the choice between Romney and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani for the nation’s top diplomatic position.

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Conway questions Romney's loyalty to Trump
03:23 - Source: CNN

The strange feud playing out in public between Romney and Giuliani has captured the attention of the nation in a way rarely seen after the election ends and the transition to the White House begins.

Conway told CNN that she has spoken to Trump several times, both yesterday and today, and that he was not angry or irritated.

Conway, who is in Trump Tower today, said Trump understands that her comments about Romney come from a place of loyalty to the President-elect.

Conway criticized Romney in a series of interviews and tweets amid speculation that the former 2012 GOP presidential nominee was a leading contender for the post. She said that Trump supporters felt “betrayed” by Romney’s consideration on “State of the Union” on Sunday.

“I’m all for party unity, but I’m not sure we have to pay for that with the secretary of state position,” Conway told CNN’s Dana Bash.

She said that “it’s just breathtaking in scope and intensity the type of messages I’ve received” from people opposing Romney for the job.

Conway first opened a window on the infighting in Trump’s transition over who should win the powerful role as the nation’s top diplomat when she tweeted on Thanksgiving about concerns with Romney.

“Receiving deluge of social media & private comms re: Romney Some Trump loyalists warn against Romney as sec of state,” she tweeted, including a link to a Politico story.

Romney has been scrapping behind the scenes with Giuliani for the post, although alternative options have emerged, including former Gen. David Petraeus and Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker.

Conway and others have pointed to the vicious personal attacks Romney lobbed at Trump throughout the campaign as being different and more severe than many other #NeverTrump Republicans fired off. Throughout the campaign, Trump fired back with his own series of searing attacks.

Trump loyalists balk at Romney

MSNBC was the first to report Trump was unhappy about Conway’s remarks about Romney.

CNN’s Tom LoBianco contributed to this report.