"A con man", a "phony" and a "fraud" whose promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University is how Mitt Romney described the US President-elect in the past.
But the former Massachusetts governor appears to have drastically altered his view of Donald Trump following his election victory. On Tuesday (29 November), the pair dined at a swanky French restaurant in Manhattan as Trump considers who to appoint as secretary of state – a position for which Romney is seriously being considered. They were also joined by Reince Priebus, the incoming White House chief of staff.
As the race to lead Foggy Bottom heats up, Romney now thinks that Trump's view on global affairs are "enlightening, and interesting, and engaging" despite painting a picture of an erratic candidate who opens up dangerous possibilities when it comes to foreign policy during the Republican primaries.
Indeed, during a speech to the Institute of Politics at the University of Utah in March, Romney lambasted Trump's approach to dealing with the threat of terror. "What he said on '60 Minutes' about Syria and Isis [Islamic State] has to go down as the most ridiculous and dangerous idea of the campaign season," said Romney.
"Let Isis take out Assad, he [Trump] said, and then we can pick up the remnants. Think about that: Let the most dangerous terror organisation the world has ever known take over a country? This is recklessness in the extreme."
But after Trump's stunning White House victory, Romney is now "impressed" with the President-elect – both in terms of the win itself and his transition effort – and the Republican did not hesitate to shower his praise on the incoming leader.
"I happen to think that America's best days are ahead of us," Romney said in a statement after enjoying posh nosh involving lamb chops, young garlic soup with thyme and sautéed frog legs as well as diver scallops with caramelised cauliflower and a caper raisin emulsion, according to a readout to reporters.
"I think you're going to see America continue to lead the world in this century. And what I've seen through these discussions I've had with President-elect Trump, as well as what we've seen in his speech the night of his victory, as well as the people he's selected as part of his transition, all of those things combined give me increasing hope that President-elect Trump is the very man who can lead us to that better future."
While Romney's words say one thing, what does his body language reveal? We asked our expert, body language and psychologist Judi James, for her verdict.
Victim mode activated
The body language in this rather hilarious pose would be disturbing even if we had no idea at all of the two men's identity, profile and relationship. While Trump leans forward with his face rounded in a slightly predatory-looking smile that is bathed in light that has bounced up from the table cloth, Romney's pose seems to have 'anxiety' oozing from the pores. He is every inch into victim mode here, from the awkward clutch at the table to the over-the-shoulder sheepish stare as he is discovered in situ with a man he used to speak scathingly about.
The two men's facial expressions are completely at odds. Trump's eyebrows peak at the outside end and his eyes wrinkle upward in a quasi-paternal eye-smile. His mouth forms a U-shape of purring pleasure but for Mitt it's almost all the same only upside-down. His brows are puckered and steepled in the middle and drooping at the outside edge in an expression of concern and his eyes look as mournful and Trump's look gleeful, His mouth is pulled down at the corners too, making him look fearful.
It even appears that Trump might have cleaned his plate while Mitt doesn't seem to have touched any of his food, almost as though he feels that he might just get away with the dinner if he avoids actually eating anything that Trump might be paying for, or that filling his face at Trump's expense might be one soundbite too far.