(CNN) As President-elect Donald Trump considered Mitt Romney for secretary of state, Trump wanted one thing Romney wouldn't give him: an apology.
Trump was willing to move past Romney's bitter campaign-trail criticism of him. And incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus, who chaired the Republican National Committee during both men's presidential campaigns, convinced Trump there was value in showing he was big enough to bring Romney into the fold.
But top aides, including Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon, saw Romney's attacks as unforgivable, according to three sources close to Romney, two of whom are familiar with Trump's transition process.
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CNN has learned that Vice President-elect Mike Pence and Priebus also wanted Romney to apologize as a way to smooth over the tension.