Romney: Consequences of Trump actions during lame-duck 'potentially more severe' than transition delay

Romney: Consequences of Trump actions during lame-duck 'potentially more severe' than transition delay
© Greg Nash

GOP Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTrump-backed bills on election audits, illegal voting penalties expected to die in Texas legislature The Memo: Conservatives change their tune on big government Defense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals MORE (Utah) warned in a new interview Thursday that President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new social media network called 'TRUTH Social' Virginia State Police investigating death threat against McAuliffe Meadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report MORE’s actions during the lame-duck period could be even more dangerous than his refusal to allow President-elect Joe BidenJoe Biden White House: US has donated 200 million COVID-19 vaccines around the world Police recommend charges against four over Sinema bathroom protest K Street revenues boom MORE to begin his White House transition. 

"The consequences of what's happening during this lame-duck period, I think, are potentially more severe than the consequences associated with a late transition process," the Utah Republican and 2012 GOP presidential nominee said on an episode of "The Axe Files" podcast released Thursday.

Romney specifically noted Trump’s decision to withdraw more troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, moves that defense officials said were premature given the circumstances on the ground and which drew alarm from allies that also have troops stationed in those two countries.

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"We have some 40 coalition members that also have troops there. For us to pull our troops out obviously puts our remaining troops in some danger, as well as their troops. And they wonder, 'How do we deal in a coalition with the United States leading it if there is a decision taken on a precipitous basis with which we may or may not have been familiar that puts our troops in jeopardy?'" he said.

The comments mark the latest criticism of the president from Romney, the only GOP senator who voted to convict Trump in the Senate impeachment trial.

Democrats have been furious with Trump over his refusal to begin a transition process for Biden, but most Republicans have given cover to the president. 

There has been more GOP criticism, however, of Trump's decision to draw down troop levels and of his move this week to fire a top government cybersecurity official, Christopher Krebs.

"It’s the president’s prerogative, but I think it just adds to the confusion and chaos, and I’m sure I’m not the only one that would like some return to a little bit more of a — I don’t even know what’s normal anymore. We’ll call it the next normal," Sen. John CornynJohn CornynCornyn raises more than M for Senate GOP Is the Biden administration afraid of trade? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - After high drama, Senate lifts debt limit MORE (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and an adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP blocks Senate Democrats' revised elections bill A politicized Supreme Court? That was the point The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Democrats optimistic after Biden meetings MORE (R-Ky.), said after the firing.