Trump Endorses Romney for Utah Seat

President Donald Trump endorsed Monday GOP candidate Mitt Romney in the Utah Senate race, surprising many considering the complex relationship between the two men, a result of Romney’s frequent criticism of the president.

Trump announced his decision on Twitter, three days after Romney launched his bid for the seat which Senator Orrin Hatch is retiring from, Politico writes.

“.@MittRomney has announced he is running for the Senate from the wonderful State of Utah. He will make a great Senator and worthy successor to @OrrinHatch, and has my full support and endorsement!”

Romney responded in a tweet of his own, saying “Thank you Mr. President for the support. I hope that over the course of the campaign I also earn the support and endorsement of the people of Utah.”

Even though Romney is expected to win the Utah Senate seat, Trump’s decision is surprising as Romney led the “Never Trump” movement during the 2016 presidential election, claiming then-candidate Trump was a “phony” and calling for another GOP nominee to be chosen.

The tension eased between the two men, although not completely, following reports that President Trump considered Romney for his secretary of state. A few month ago, Trump attempted to convince Hatch to run for reelection in an effort to keep Romney from seeking the seat. He also called Romney a “loser.”

After Romney announced he would run for the seat many began speculating that he may use it to be a thorn in Trump’s side, but according to those close to him, Romney is intent on running a Utah-focused campaign while mostly staying mum about Trump.

However, Romney will not stay completely quiet about the president. His announcement video has been considered to be an indirect provocation aimed at Trump.

“Utah welcomes legal immigrants from around the world,” he said. “Washington sends immigrants a message of exclusion.”

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