The office of Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchBottom line Bottom line Bottom line MORE (R-Utah) clarified on Thursday that the senator did not say President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice says it will recommend Trump veto FISA bill Fauci: Nominating conventions may be able to go on as planned Poll: Biden leads Trump by 11 points nationally MORE was the greatest president ever, but suggested he could be. 

Trump said Thursday at a GOP retreat that Hatch, 83, had called him the "greatest president in the history of our country," thanking Hatch and calling him a "spectacular man." 

"Orrin is — I love listening to him speak ... He actually once said I'm the greatest president in the history of our country and I said, 'does that include Lincoln and Washington?' He said, 'Yes.' I said, 'I love this guy,'" Trump told reporters at a press conference for the West Virginia retreat. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Hatch spokesman Matt Whitlock told The Hill that "Hatch has said that he would like to work with the President to make this the greatest presidency in history for the American people." 

While the president appears to have slightly misquoted Hatch, the senator — who seen seven presidents in the White House during his four decades in office — previously praised Trump in November as “one of the best I’ve served under." 

ADVERTISEMENT

The senator later clarified his remarks to emphasize the independence of the legislative branch, saying Trump was “the best president I’ve served ‘under’ in terms of line of succession." 

Hatch then listed his all-time favorites, saying jokingly "If we're talking best presidents I've served alongside, that list would also include Lincoln, Reagan and James K. Polk, who really knew how to command a room." 

After the GOP passed its massive tax overhaul, Hatch also predicted it would be the first step toward making “this the greatest presidency that we've seen, not only in generations, but maybe ever."

Hatch has announced his retirement from the Senate after his current term. Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe Hill's Campaign Report: GOP beset by convention drama Loeffler runs ad tying Doug Collins to Pelosi, Sanders, Biden Trump, GOP go all-in on anti-China strategy MORE, long rumored to be a replacement candidate, announced Thursday that he would make a Senate announcement in two weeks.