Is Trump Waging A Hidden Campaign Against Mitt Romney?

President Donald Trump stands with Sen. Orrin Hatch R-Utah after arriving at Salt Lake City International Airport Monday Dec. 4 2017 in Salt Lake City

President Donald Trump stands with Sen. Orrin Hatch R-Utah after arriving at Salt Lake City International Airport Monday Dec. 4 2017 in Salt Lake City

President Trump shakes the hand of Sen.

But the two will fly together on Air Force One to Salt Lake City on Monday where the president is expected to slash the sizes of Bear Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

But the journey west may have served a political objective for the president - to keep a political rival out of Washington. "He never uttered a negatively critical word about Trump", the source said. "He's a fighter. We hope you will continue to serve your state and your country in the Senate for a very long time to come". The 83-year-old Republican had even blessed Romney as his "perfect" replacement. Hatch's wife wants him to retire. The victor by far: Mitt Romney.

Trump called Hatch in October to and requested he run again, sources familiar with the call told Politico. Trump also made time to lavish praise on Hatch.

"There's widespread concern within the White House that Romney in the Senate could make Trump's life hard", reported Politico's Alex Isenstadt, noting Romney's vociferous condemnations of Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. If that happened, Romney would immediately become the most prominent elder statesman of the GOP.

Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate, has always been critical of Trump.

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Now that Sens. Bob Coker, R-Tenn., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., are retiring, and Sen. Trump frequently characterized Romney as a "failed candidate" and a "disaster" for the Republican party.

Romney was very tough on Trump during the campaign. Last year, he referred to Trump as a phony and a fraud during remarks at the University of Utah, and implored people not to vote for him.

He added that Trump was the "most famous man in the world". "He knows for a fact he's not going to get that with Romney".

According to Politico, Romney himself has grown frustrated by the "ongoing uncertainty" about Hatch's future plans, especially after the senator encouraged him to consider run in the first place.

President Donald Trump said on Monday he wants U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah to run for re-election, a move that puts Trump on a collision course with Republican rival Mitt Romney, who wants to run for Hatch's seat. Rex Tillerson. Perhaps as a reaction to that particular humiliation, Romney has carried on his criticism of Trump, saying that the White House's response to the violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville "caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn", and bashing Trump for pulling out of the Paris climate agreement.

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