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Trump's 'thank you' tour will make a stop in Utah; still no decision on Romney

SALT LAKE CITY — What's being billed as a "thank you" tour by President-elect Donald Trump will make a stop in Utah, state GOP Chairman James Evans said Wednesday.

Evans said he did not yet have a date for the event and could not say whether Trump himself would make an appearance at the Utah stop. Trump is scheduled to kick off the tour Thursday with a rally in Cincinnati.

The launch of the tour to states where Trump was victorious comes as the president-elect continues to consider whether to appoint Mitt Romney, one of his harshest critics during the campaign, or another candidate as his secretary of state.

The day after Romney joined Trump for a high-profile dinner in a posh New York City restaurant, reporters were told during the daily media call from the president-elect's transition team there are still four "potential candidates" for the post.

According to a transcript of the call in the Washington Post, Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer also said there is "no timetable set" for the decision, but no further Cabinet appointments are anticipated this week.

Spicer did not name the candidates, but Romney, the GOP's 2012 presidential nominee; former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani; former CIA Director David Petraeus; and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., have all been previously identified.

Romney, who labeled Trump a "fraud" and a "phony" in a March speech at the University of Utah aimed at keeping the billionaire businessman from winning the primary election, praised him after Tuesday's dinner, their second meeting.

He said Trump "continues with a message of inclusion and bringing people together, and his vision is something which obviously connected with the American people in a very powerful way."

Trump last appeared in Utah in March, just before he came in a distant third place in the state's presidential preference caucus vote. He sent his running mate, now Vice President-elect Mike Pence, to rally Utah Republicans in October.

Evans told KSL Newsradio's Doug Wright on Wednesday that Trump "really is fond of Utah. I think this is a great opportunity to bring Republicans together" so the campaign can express its gratitude for his victory in the state.

While Trump was statistically tied shortly before the election with Democrat Hillary Clinton and independent conservative candidate Evan McMullin, he ended up winning Utah with 45.5 percent of the vote.

Trump struggled with voters in a state so reliably Republican it had not voted for a Democrat for president since 1964, especially after a 2005 video surfaced of him talking in graphic terms about making sexual advances on women.

Some GOP leaders, including Gov. Gary Herbert, backed off their support for their party's presidential pick. A few never endorsed Trump, but most did follow Pence's urging that they "come home" to the nominee.

University of Utah political science professor Matthew Burbank said it's not clear how a "thank you" visit from Trump would be received in a state where he couldn't muster a majority of the votes.

"I would guess he would not get as warm a welcome here as he would other places," Burbank said. "I think the message from Utah was this is a very Republican place … but there just wasn't a lot of enthusiasm for Trump."

Utah Democratic Party Chairman Peter Corroon said the Trump team's tour may be a good idea because "frankly, he offended a lot of people during the presidential election cycle, so this could be an opportunity for him to make amends."