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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 RomneyBiden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls The Memo: GOP mulls its future after Trump Biden teams to meet with Trump administration agencies MORE (Utah) warned in a new interview Thursday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Sunday shows preview: US health officials brace for post-holiday COVID-19 surge MORE’s actions during the lame-duck period could be even more dangerous than his refusal to allow President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Biden transition adds new members to coronavirus task force 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 says election outcome 'becoming increasingly clear': report Top GOP senator: Biden should be getting intel briefings GOP senator congratulates Biden, says Trump should accept results MORE (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and an adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell halts in-person Republican lunches amid COVID-19 surge Biden and reproductive health rights Biden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls MORE (R-Ky.), said after the firing.