Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani arrives at the Trump...

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani arrives at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, in Bedminster, N.J., for meetings with President-elect Donald Trump. Credit: AP / Carolyn Kaster

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, once considered a top contender to become U.S. Secretary of State, won’t be a part of the Trump administration at all, the president-elect’s transition team announced Friday.

The Trump campaign issued a statement saying Giuliani had “removed his name from consideration for a position in the new administration.”

The statement came a few hours after CNN and CNBC reported that Giuliani was no longer in the running for secretary of state. No reason was cited for the change, but critics had questioned whether Giuliani’s international business ties posed potential conflicts.

Giuliani had been a top Trump surrogate during the campaign, appearing on the Republican’s behalf on talk shows or acting as a warm-up speak at Trump rallies.

Trump, in a statement, said: “Rudy Giuliani is an extraordinarily talented and patriotic American. I will always be appreciative of his 24/7 dedication to our campaign after I won the primaries and for his extremely wise counsel. He is and continues to be a close personal friend, and as appropriate, I will call upon him for advice and can see an important place for him in the administration at a later date.”

Reince Priebus, Trump’s incoming chief of staff, also issued a statement, saying Giuliani, “was vetted by our team for any possible conflicts and passed with flying colors.”

Giuliani had expressed interest in becoming the nation’s top diplomat, often talking about his foreign policy qualifications, according to news reports.

Giuliani, in a statement released by the Trump transition team, said: “This is not about me; it is about what is best for the country and the new administration. Before I joined the campaign I was very involved and fulfilled by my work with my law firm and consulting firm, and I will continue that work with even more enthusiasm. From the vantage point of the private sector, I look forward to helping the President-elect in any way he deems necessary and appropriate.”

Among the names that continue to be talked about for Secretary of State are former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Exxon Mobil Chief Executive Rex Tillerson, former CIA director and Gen. David Petraeus and ex-U. N. ambassador John Bolton.

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