RNC chair slams her uncle Mitt Romney for Trump criticism

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, the niece of Sen.-elect Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneySenate gears up for Green New Deal vote Senate GOP proposes constitutional amendment to keep Supreme Court at 9 seats The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Mueller report is huge win for President Trump MORE (R-Utah), blasted the incoming lawmaker on Wednesday, saying that the op-ed he wrote criticizing President TrumpDonald John TrumpPapadopoulos claims he was pressured to sign plea deal Tlaib asking colleagues to support impeachment investigation resolution Trump rips 'Mainstream Media': 'They truly are the Enemy of the People' MORE was "disappointing and unproductive."

"POTUS is attacked and obstructed by the MSM media and Democrats 24/7," McDaniel wrote on Twitter. "For an incoming Republican freshman senator to attack @realdonaldtrump as their first act feeds into what the Democrats and media want and is disappointing and unproductive." 

The statement came just a day after Romney declared that Trump had "not risen to the mantle" of the presidency in an op-ed for The Washington Post.

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"With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring," Romney wrote. 

"On balance, his conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions this month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office."

Romney later argued that in order "to reassume our leadership in world politics, we must repair failings in our politics at home."

"That project begins, of course, with the highest office once again acting to inspire and unite us," he said. 

Trump responded to Romney's criticism on Wednesday, arguing that the 2012 presidential nominee should be a "team player" for Republicans. 

"Here we go with Mitt Romney, but so fast! Question will be, is he a Flake?" Trump tweeted, referring to outgoing Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump's attacks on McCain exacerbate tensions with Senate GOP Schumer to introduce bill naming Senate office building after McCain amid Trump uproar Trump keeps tight grip on GOP MORE (R-Ariz.). "I hope not. Would much prefer that Mitt focus on Border Security and so many other things where he can be helpful. I won big, and he didn’t. He should be happy for all Republicans. Be a TEAM player & WIN!"

Romney was elected in November and will replace the retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). He is set to be sworn in as Utah's junior senator on Thursday.