You can whittle Donald Trump's long list of Secretary of State candidates down a bit: Rudy Giuliani has pulled his name out of contention, per Trump's transition team. "Rudy Giuliani is an extraordinarily talented and patriotic American. I will always be appreciative of his 24/7 dedication to our campaign after I won the primaries and for his extremely wise counsel," Trump said in a statement Friday. "He is and continues to be a close personal friend, and as appropriate, I will call upon him for advice and can see an important place for him in the administration at a later date. ... Rudy would have been an outstanding member of the Cabinet in several roles, but I fully respect and understand his reasons for remaining in the private sector." Giuliani will stay on as vice chairman of Trump's transition team, per CNN.
As Politico puts it, the former New York mayor "had previously publicly campaigned for the post," and it's unclear why he's pulled out of the running for not just Secretary of State but any position in Trump's administration, a move the transition team said happened on Nov. 29. Reince Priebus, who will be Trump's chief of staff, said Giuliani had been fully vetted for any potential conflicts of interest and "passed with flying colors," and that his business ties had nothing to do with his withdrawal. Giuliani said in a statement that he still "[looks] forward to helping the President-elect in any way he deems necessary and appropriate." His biggest rival for the Secretary of State post was thought to be Mitt Romney; other possibilities include Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, retired Adm. James Stavridis, Sen. Bob Corker, and former Ford CEO Alan Mulally. (Read more Rudy Giuliani stories.)