President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE has rejected a top candidate for deputy secretary of State who criticized him during the 2016 presidential campaign, CNN reported Friday.
A meeting between Trump and Elliott Abrams went well, CNN reported, but Trump nixed Abrams for the State Department role once he learned that Abrams criticized him during his White House run.
Abrams, who worked for former presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, was considered a top contender for the No. 2 job.
He had the backing of White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and senior adviser Jared Kushner. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also supported Abrams for the job because of his experience, CNN reported.
"This is a loss for the State Department and the country and, for that matter, for the president," one Republican source told CNN.
In a May 2016 op-ed in The Weekly Standard, Abrams wrote that the GOP had "nominated someone who cannot win and should not be president of the United States."
And while Abrams never joined several other establishment Republicans in opposing Trump’s presidency at all costs, he positioned himself as a strong opponent of the president’s brand of conservatism.
As a presidential candidate, Trump positioned himself as a political outsider who challenged the U.S. establishment. He has frequently clashed with critics and has tended to offer senior positions in his administration to those who were loyal to him during his campaign.
— This story was updated at 12:31 p.m.