GOP establishment icon Mitt Romney lavished praise on President-elect Donald Trump last night — kissing the ring of the man he once excoriated as he continued his bid to become the nation’s next secretary of state.

Emerging from dinner with Trump at Jean-Georges at Trump’s New York hotel, Romney said, “The discussions I’ve had with him have been enlightening and interesting and engaging. I’ve enjoyed them very, very much.

“I was also very impressed by the remarks he made on his victory night,” Romney told reporters. “He did something I tried to do and was unsuccessful in accomplishing. He won the general election. And he continues with a message of inclusion, bringing people together, and his vision is something which obviously connected with the American people in a very powerful way.

“I can tell you I’ve been impressed by what I’ve seen in the transition effort,” Romney said.

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“I happen to think America’s best days are ahead of us,” Romney said, adding that he has “increasing hope that President-elect Trump is the very man who can lead us to that better future.”

The former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP nominee’s astonishing 180-degree turn from his vitriol during the primary campaign came as Trump insiders reportedly have been feuding over the idea of a Romney appointment. Rival candidates include Tennessee U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former CIA Director David Petraeus.

Trump moved closer to filling out his Cabinet yesterday, picking an ex-Bush White House secretary and reportedly settling on a former Goldman Sachs partner with Hollywood ties and a billionaire investor to top posts.

Trump is expected to announce Steve Mnuchin as secretary of treasury today. Mnuchin, Trump’s campaign finance manager, is the son of a partner at Goldman Sachs, where he, too, became a partner. Mnuchin then financed Hollywood movies, including “Avatar” and the “X-Men” franchise and produced “American Sniper” and “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

Trump also planned to tap billionaire Wilbur Ross as secretary of commerce today. Ross bought bankrupt Rust Belt steel mills in 2001, then turned them around and sold them at a profit, though critics lament the job losses he instituted along with the transformation.

Trump formally nominated Elaine Chao — the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — to be secretary of transportation. Chao served all eight years as secretary of labor under former President George W. Bush.


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