There’s no question that President Donald Trump is no fan of McCain. The two have battled on policy since early in Republican presidential primary, and McCain recently announced he believes things were better during the Obama years.
But Trump’s a businessman who wants to hire the best people for leadership roles. That’s why for months he’s quietly been “aggressively courting” Cindy McCain for a job at the State Department.
McCain, who has been involved in many humanitarian causes, is the co-chair of Arizona Human Trafficking Council, which is part of the state’s governors office. In addition, the McCain Institute board she serves on at Arizona State Univeristy raises money to champion children’s health issues.
Now, Cindy McCain’s appointment as an ambassador-at-large position is a “done deal.”:
After months of being offered—and rejecting—several potential posts in the Trump administration, Cindy McCain and the president came to the agreement of a Washington, D.C.-based ambassador-at-large position, which would focus on anti human trafficking efforts, refugees, and humanitarian-aid matters. The title being kicked around internally is “U.S. ambassador-at-large for human rights,” though that title is subject to change, and it is unclear if a new office within the State Department would be created for her.
“[Trump personally], aggressively courted her for this,” one White House official told The Daily Beast. “It’s a done deal now… The president had floated several positions before—this is the one that stuck.”
A formal announcement of that new role is expected within a matter of weeks. Early last month, the Associated Press was the first to report that Cindy McCain was expected to be “offered a prominent role in the Trump administration’s State Department.”
The Trump White House has been known to suddenly reverse course on major personnel changes, meaning plans for McCain’s new post could always hit a snag. But administration sources say she has communicated to the president that she will accept the post if it’s offered.
According to the White House official, the president’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump had strongly recommended that President Trump make a “hard sell” to McCain. Ivanka, who hosted an anti human trafficking roundtable at the White House last month, was impressed by McCain’s years of work on global humanitarian issues.
However, Cindy McCain and her husband did not vote for President Trump. During the election, Senator McCain announced, “Cindy and I will not vote for Donald Trump. I have never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate, and we will not vote for Hillary Clinton. We will write in the name of some good conservative Republican who is qualified to be President.”
It’s an interesting choice – one that many inside the White House didn’t expect.