Trump congratulates Hatch on 'incredible career' after retirement announcement
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTillerson: Russia already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump's desire for military parade: 'We have a Napoleon in the making' MORE congratulated Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchOvernight Tech: Uber exec says 'no justification' for covering up hack | Apple considers battery rebates | Regulators talk bitcoin | SpaceX launches world's most powerful rocket Overnight Cybersecurity: Tillerson proposes new cyber bureau at State | Senate bill would clarify cross-border data rules | Uber exec says 'no justification' for covering up breach Hatch introduces bipartisan bill to clarify cross-border data policies MORE (R-Utah) for his "incredible" career on Tuesday after the longest-serving current senator announced his retirement in 2019. 

Many had expected that the Senate president pro tempore would run for an eighth term in November, but he announced in a video that he'd decided to step down "after much prayer and discussion" with his family and friends.

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“I’ve always been a fighter. I was an amateur boxer in my youth, and I brought that fighting spirit with me to Washington,” Hatch said in the video. “But every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves. And for me, that time is soon approaching."

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said earlier Tuesday that Trump was "very sad" about the news. 

"The president certainly has the greatest and deepest amount of respect for Sen. Hatch and his over four decades of experience in the Senate," Sanders said at a White House press conference, adding that Trump was thankful for his work on the Republican tax-reform bill that passed in December. 

Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyDems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Pawlenty departing Wall Street group as campaign rumors swirl Trump ambassador nominee spread conspiracy theories about Cruz, Kasich MORE, an outspoken critic of the president, has reportedly been meeting with top Republicans in preparation for a possible 2018 bid for Hatch's seat.