Comey defends Romney for ‘calling out’ Trump

Former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyDavis: The shocking fact that Mueller never would have accused Trump of a crime Sarah Sanders is entitled to her opinions, but not her own facts James Comey, wife donated ,400 to Klobuchar's presidential campaign MORE on Wednesday defended Sen.-elect Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyGOP plots comeback in Orange County Trump's Fed pick on critics: 'They're pulling a Kavanaugh against me' Dem super PAC campaign urges Republicans to back impeachment MORE (R-Utah) after he was criticized for writing a scathing op-ed that panned President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats' CNN town halls exposed an extreme agenda Buttigieg says he doubts Sanders can win general election Post-Mueller, Trump has a good story to tell for 2020 MORE’s character.

“Looks like the Republican tent is too small to fit integrity. Today, Republicans attacked a Senator for truthfully calling out the President for his lack of character, while staying mute as he proved it by lying about Jim Mattis and approving the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan,” Comey tweeted Wednesday. 

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Comey referred to comments Trump made Wednesday saying he “effectively fired” outgoing Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisNew 2020 candidate Moulton on hypothetical Mars invasion: 'I would not build a wall' Trump learns to love acting officials Shanahan says he's 'never favored' Boeing as acting Defense chief MORE and that the Soviet Union was “right to be” in Afghanistan in the 1970s because “terrorists were going into Russia.”

Romney in The Washington Post on Tuesday wrote that Trump had “not risen to the mantle” of the presidency.

“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.” 

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, Romney’s niece, tweeted that “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.”

Trump also jumped on Romney, citing his failed 2012 presidential campaign. 

“I won big, and he didn’t. He should be happy for all Republicans. Be a TEAM player & WIN!” he tweeted Wednesday morning.

Romney’s soon-to-be colleague Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulDem super PAC campaign urges Republicans to back impeachment Booker, Harris have missed most Senate votes Trump vetoes measure ending US support for Saudi-led war in Yemen MORE (R-Ky.) also criticized the incoming senator, saying he was trying to “signal how virtuous he is.”

Romney has said he will call out the president when necessary but agrees with him on some policies, including the contentious border wall.

Romney was elected in November and will replace the retiring Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchHatch warns 'dangerous' idea of court packing could hurt religious liberty Former Democratic aide pleads guilty to doxing GOP senators attending Kavanaugh hearing How do we prevent viral live streaming of New Zealand-style violence? MORE (R-Utah). He is set to be sworn in as Utah's junior senator on Thursday. 

Comey, who was ousted by Trump, has also been a fierce critic of Trump’s character.