Donald Trump Says ‘No, Thank You’ to Kelly Ayotte

He doesn't want the outgoing New Hampshire senator in his administration.

Trump photo via iStock/andykatz; Ayotte photo via U.S. Naval Institute

Trump photo via iStock/andykatz; Ayotte photo via U.S. Naval Institute

Update Wednesday, November 23: The New York Times  has released a transcript of its interview with President-elect Donald Trump, which includes his full remarks on outgoing New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte. An excerpt has been included below.

Asked Tuesday about whether he wanted outgoing New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte to work with him at the White House, Donald Trump had this to say: “No, thank you.”

In an interview today with the New York Times, as live-tweeted by reporter Maggie Haberman he says Ayotte “would love a job in the administration,” but he isn’t interested in giving her one.

Ayotte has had a complicated relationship with Trump, who she disavowed in October after that recording surfaced of Trump saying he grabbed women “by the pussy.” She said at the time the candidate should drop out of the race.

During her campaign to retain her Senate seat, her opponent Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, hammered Ayotte repeatedly on her ties to the candidate. Ayotte had expressed lukewarm support for Trump before deciding she couldn’t vote for him, and fended off controversy for referring to him during a debate as a “role model” for children, later calling her comments “a mistake.”

Trump went on to narrowly lose New Hampshire in the general election. So did Ayotte.

Here are Trump’s remarks from his interview with the Times:

I won the presidency easily, I helped numerous senators — in fact the only senators that didn’t get elected were two — one up in New Hampshire who refused to say that she was going to vote for me, who by the way would love a job in the administration and I said, ‘No, thank you.’ That’s on the record. This is where I’m different than a politician — I know what to say, I just believe it’s sort of interesting.

She’d love to have a job in the administration, I said, ‘No, thank you.’ She refused to vote for me.

As Trump began the work of recruiting leaders to join his administration, Ayotte’s name had been among those floated as possible picks for secretary of defense. She expressed some interest in doing so.

“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 New Hampshire Union Leader on November 11. “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.”

But the president-elect appears to have put an end to those rumors.