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Trump dines with Romney

NEW YORK (AFP) – Donald Trump dined Tuesday at one of New York’s swankiest restaurants with Mitt Romney, his erstwhile foe turned potential frontrunner in the race to become America’s next secretary of state.

The dinner came as the president-elect got a shot in the arm by a manufacturing company announcing a deal to keep nearly 1,000 jobs in the Rust Belt and as the New York billionaire prepared to switch his attentions from job interviews to a post-election victory tour.

“We will keep our companies and jobs in the US. Thanks Carrier,’’ Trump tweeted late Tuesday, referring to the Indiana-based air conditioning company that announced the deal.

The choice of Jean-Georges, a three-starred Michelin restaurant overlooking Central Park run by celebrity French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and popular with New York high society, was the clearest indication yet that Trump may select Romney as his chief diplomat.

After the dinner, Romney offered words of praise for Trump that contrasted sharply with his past criticisms, saying he had been “impressed’’ by his acceptance speech and subsequent preparations for office, calling it “a wonderful evening.’’

“I think you’re going to see America continue to lead the world in this century,’’ Romney told reporters, saying he had “increasing hope that president-elect Trump is the very man who can lead us to that better future.’’