Political News

Trump interviews Heidi Cruz, once the subject of his ridicule, for World Bank post

Posted January 31, 2019 12:20 p.m. EST
Updated January 31, 2019 12:50 p.m. EST

— President Donald Trump is casting a wide net in the search for a new leader of the World Bank, one that, against all odds, has included the woman at the root of a bitter 2016 primary battle.

Trump interviewed Heidi Cruz, the wife of Sen. Ted Cruz, for the World Bank president job. Cruz currently works for Goldman Sachs as a managing director of the investment division in the company's Houston office.

"It was an honor for Heidi to be considered by the Administration as a finalist for President of the World Bank," Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told CNN in a statement.

"She was humbled to be among a strong list of other strong candidates to serve," Frazier added.

The interview was first reported by Bloomberg, which noted Cruz is not expected to receive the job.

A contentious history

It goes without saying that there is a complicated and contentious history between the Cruz family and the President following the bruising 2016 Republican primary.

In March of 2016, Trump expressed anger that an anti-Trump super PAC used an old photo of his wife Melania, a model who posed in the nude for a 2000 British GQ spread, in a provocative Facebook ad that read, "Meet Melania Trump. Your Next First Lady. Or, You Could Support Ted Cruz on Tuesday."

Trump accused Cruz's team of being behind the ad, which Cruz vehemently denied. Still, Trump took to Twitter, threatening that Cruz, whom he dubbed "Lyin' Ted," ought to "be careful" or else Trump would "spill the beans" on his wife.

Trump later retweeted a follower who posted an unflattering photo of Heidi Cruz alongside a glamour shot of Melania Trump, with the caption: "no need to 'spill the beans' the images are worth a thousand words."

In return, Cruz, speaking at a sheet metal factory in Wisconsin, labeled Trump a "sniveling coward" and called on Trump to "leave Heidi the hell alone."

Trump later expressed some regret over the incident.

The couples appeared to mend fences and the Trumps invited the Cruz family for dinner at the White House in March of 2017. The Cruzes also had dinner with Ivanka Trump, who is leading the World Bank search, and Jared Kushner that September, per Politico. The President and Ivanka Trump also traveled to Texas in 2018 to support Cruz's Senate campaign.

Qualifications

Heidi Cruz has a broad set of qualifications for the top post at the international development and sustainability group.

She "previously served as Economic Director for Western Hemisphere at the National Security Council, ran the Latin America group at the Treasury Department, closed large banking deals for companies in emerging markets, and has spent two decades as a banker in private finance," Frazier said.

Cruz, a California native, also lived in Africa as a child, something Frazier said gave her "a passion for the developing world and the power of free-market solutions to alleviate poverty."

The mother of two was a hesitant but frequent presence on the campaign trail, taking unpaid leave from her job at Goldman Sachs during the campaign and often introducing her husband to crowds of voters. She has since returned to Goldman Sachs.