Report: Trump Considering Ayotte for Defense Secretary

Nov 12, 2016

Credit NHPR Staff

Outgoing Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who narrowly lost in her re-election bid Tuesday, is being considered by the Donald Trump administration for defense secretary, according to the Washington Post

Ayotte has been a vocal critic of Trump, and, after the release of the Access Hollywood tape, joined other prominent Republicans in saying she would not vote for the Republican nominee. She vowed to instead write in Trump's running mate, Mike Pence.

Ayotte lost Tuesday to Democrat Maggie Hassan by roughly 1,000 votes. During the campaign, Ayotte called out Trump on some of his positions, including a proposed ban of Muslims entering the United States, calling such a measure "inconsistent with the First Amendment."

She also criticized Trump for saying an Indiana-born judge shouldn't be able to preside over his Trump University fraud case because of his Mexican heritage.

The Washington Post reported Friday that "Ayotte's name has surfaced in internal discussions as a potential olive branch to the GOP foreign policy establishment that the Trump campaign was often at odds with over the past year."

Approached about the report, Ayotte didn't rule out a role in the Trump administration, according to the Union Leader.

"President Trump has a great opportunity to bring people  together. We've had our differences but I wish him the very, very best," she told the paper. "If I can help him in any way, I will. But I want to make sure that people come together now, and we put (aside) any of our differences now."

Ayotte currently serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee.