Trump endorses Romney in Utah Senate race

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump fires intelligence community inspector general who flagged Ukraine whistleblower complaint Trump organization has laid off over 1000 employees due to pandemic: report Trump invokes Defense Production Act to prevent export of surgical masks, gloves MORE endorsed Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTrump selects White House lawyer for coronavirus inspector general Overnight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill On The Money: Economy sheds 701K jobs in March | Why unemployment checks could take weeks | Confusion surrounds 9B in small-business loans MORE in the Senate race to replace retiring Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchBottom line Bottom line Trump administration backs Oracle in Supreme Court battle against Google MORE (R-Utah) on Monday night, despite reportedly urging Hatch to run for reelection to block Romney out.

“He will make a great Senator and worthy successor to @OrrinHatch, and has my full support and endorsement!” Trump tweeted Monday.

Romney thanked the president in a tweet of his own.

Trump and Romney have had a complicated relationship. The 2012 GOP presidential nominee was a frequent critic during Trump’s own presidential campaign.

In March of 2016, Romney said he would have refused Trump's endorsement four years earlier if he had known the real estate mogul's true colors.

Still, Romney met with Trump over the possibility of becoming secretary of State after Trump won the election. 

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Romney has taken up his criticism of Trump again after being passed over for the job, hitting the president over his comments on the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., and his endorsement of Republican Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreRoy Moore to advise Louisiana pastor arrested for allegedly defying ban on large gatherings Trump endorses Tuberville over Sessions in Alabama Senate runoff Sessions to face Tuberville in Alabama GOP Senate runoff MORE in the Alabama Senate special election.

He also slammed Trump for referring to Haiti, El Salvador and some African nations as “shithole countries.”

Reports emerged late last year that Trump was pressing Hatch to run for reelection to prevent what many see as a cakewalk bid for Romney.

“We hope you will continue to serve your state and the country in the Senate for a very long time to come,” Trump told Hatch during a speech in Salt Lake City.

However, former Romney campaign staffers told The Hill that they believed the former governor wouldn’t run as a protest candidate, but wouldn’t be afraid to speak out against Trump.

“The governor understands that the president is the leader of the political party, the Republican Party,” said Ryan Williams, a Republican strategist who worked on Romney’s 2012 campaign. “The president shapes the party. When the governor was the nominee in 2012, he was the de facto leader of the party, but now President Trump is. But that doesn’t mean that will affect his views.”

Romney made his long-suspected Senate bid official on Friday, saying now "is the right time to serve" Utah and its people.

"I have decided to run for United States Senate because I believe I can help bring Utah's values and Utah's lessons to Washington. Utah is a better model for Washington than Washington is for Utah," he said in a video announcing his campaign.