Romney is only GOP senator not on new White House coronavirus task force

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyEx-Joint Chiefs chairman: Trump threat to use military on protesters 'very dangerous' Ex-Defense secretary criticizes Trump for using military for 'partisan political purposes' Biden: Probably '10 to 15 percent' of Americans 'are just not very good people' MORE (Utah) is the only Republican senator not on a congressional task force created by the White House to study reopening parts of the country shuttered by the coronavirus.

A list released by the White House on Thursday afternoon of the "Opening Up America Again Congressional Group" included nearly 70 senators, including all 52 of Romney's GOP colleagues in the chamber.

A spokeswoman for Romney and a source familiar confirmed that the GOP senator was not asked to take part in the task force.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump has viewed the Utah senator, and 2012 GOP presidential nominee, as a Republican antagonist since he joined the Senate in 2019.

Romney was the only GOP senator to vote for one of the articles — abuse of power — during the Senate impeachment trial earlier this year.

But the bad blood goes back years. Romney was critical of Trump during the 2016 Republican presidential primary, and Trump lashed out at Romney in February 2016 as "one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics."

The two appeared to reconcile with Trump considering Romney for a Cabinet post and endorsing his Senate bid in 2018.

But Romney has publicly broken with Trump at times since joining the Senate, including appearing critical of Trump's rhetoric regarding the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainKelly holds double-digit lead over McSally in Arizona: poll Montana barrels toward blockbuster Senate fight How Obama just endorsed Trump MORE (R-Ariz.) and saying he was "sickened" by Trump's behavior as described in former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE's report.

ADVERTISEMENT

Romney's comments have made him one of the GOP senators most willing to break with Trump, after the death of McCain and retirement of former Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeKelly holds double-digit lead over McSally in Arizona: poll Trump asserts his power over Republicans 'Never Trump' Republicans: Fringe, or force to be reckoned with? MORE (R-Ariz.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump asserts his power over Republicans Romney is only GOP senator not on new White House coronavirus task force McConnell, Romney vie for influence over Trump's trial MORE (R-Tenn.).

Trump has publicly lashed out at Romney, calling for him to be kicked out of the Senate GOP caucus and accusing him of being a "secret Democrat asset."

Romney wasn't the only senator not included on the new White House task force. More than two dozen Democrats were not included, such as Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenTwitter CEO: 'Not true' that removing Trump campaign video was illegal, as president has claimed Biden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination Warren, Pressley introduce bill to make it a crime for police officers to deny medical care to people in custody MORE (D-Mass.), and Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump signs order removing environmental reviews for major projects | New Trump air rule will limit future pollution regulations, critics say | DNC climate group calls for larger federal investment on climate than Biden plan Google: Chinese and Iranian hackers targeting Biden, Trump campaigns MORE (I-Vt.), who both ran for the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential nomination. Red-state Democrats Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinDemocratic unity starts to crack in coronavirus liability reform fight Stakes high for Collins in coronavirus relief standoff The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Surgeon General stresses need to invest much more in public health infrastructure, during and after COVID-19; Fauci hopeful vaccine could be deployed in December MORE (W.Va.) and Doug Jones (Ala.) also were not included.

Updated at 5:10 p.m.