Mitt Romney, the newly elected junior senator of Utah, former governor of Massachusetts, and 2012 candidate for president, described President Trump with harsh words in his reaction to reading the recently released Mueller report. Trump did not waste much time lashing out against Romney in response.
One of the few republicans critical of Trump’s behavior as described by special counsel investigator Robert Mueller, Romney said that he was “sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the President.”
He added that he was “appalled” that Trump associates, during the 2016 presidential campaign, “welcomed help from Russia.” During the 2012 presidential Romney was highly criticized for saying that Russia was America’s “greatest geopolitical foe.”
Other republicans were also critical of the president but used more moderate language. Senator Susan Collins of Maine said in a radio interview that Mueller’s report offered “an unflattering portrayal of the president,” while Senator Rob Portman of Ohio said the report “documents a number of actions taken by the president or his associates that were inappropriate.”
Trump responded to Romney in a tweet the next day:
“If @MittRomney spent the same energy fighting Barack Obama as he does fighting Donald Trump, he could have won the race (maybe)!”
The tweet came with a 40-second long video contrasting Romney’s election loss to Obama in 2012 with Trump’s win over Clinton in 2016. The origin of the video is not unclear.
Romney has consistently been critical of Trump. In January 2019, just a few days before Romney was sworn in as Utah’s junior senator, he wrote in an op-ed in the Washington Post that Trump “has not risen to the mantle” of the office of president and his ““words and actions have caused dismay around the world.”