Senator-elect Mitt Romney and U.S. President Donald Trump have been at each other’s throats lately. On Tuesday, Romney wrote a scathing op-ed in the Washington Post about Trump and his presidency, going far enough back to criticize the incumbent president’s campaign in 2016.
It took the president just a day to respond, taking to his Twitter account to slam Romney for not being a “team player,” and comparing him to former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, according to a previous report by the Inquisitr.
“Here we go with Mitt Romney, but so fast! Question will be, is he a Flake? I hope not. Would much prefer that Mitt focus on Border Security and so many other things where he can be helpful. I won big, and he didn’t. He should be happy for all Republicans. Be a TEAM player & WIN!” Trump wrote.
Following Trump’s tweet, Romney responded to the president, explaining why he had decided to speak up now, almost two years into Trump’s presidency. Part of the trigger for the Utah senator-elect was the departure of Defense Secretary James Mattis, which closely followed Trump’s announcement that ISIS had been “defeated” in Syria, causing him to want to immediately withdraw U.S. troops from the region.
"The President, of course, is entitled to his perspectives, his own views, and I respect his right to express those things." Sen.-elect Mitt Romney responds to Trump's reaction to his scathing op-ed. "Where we disagree, why, we'll just have to disagree." https://t.co/K6IJ69lkQi pic.twitter.com/TK6J4vBfhl
— CNN (@CNN) January 2, 2019
“I think it’s important, as I begin this new job, to make it very clear where I stand,” Romney told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Wednesday. “And I also note that the departure of Secretary Mattis and the decision to pull out of Syria and the abrupt way it was done was a precipitating event for my finally going on this record.”
In his op-ed, Romney expressed major concern over Trump’s behavior in the past month in particular.
Speaking to Tapper, he also explained how he and the current administration have disagreed on a number of issues over the past two years.
“I have put out a number of statements that relate to things that were of great concern to me. The Charlottesville response by the President was something that gave me great concern. The support for Roy Moore in the senate race was something I was very, very concerned about. His attack on the media.”
Although Romney did state in his op-ed that he agrees with some of the things Trump has done during his time in the Oval Office, he spent plenty of time attacking Trump’s character. He criticized the fact that the president has been further dividing the country instead of unifying it, as previous presidents have done, arguing that Trump has not been able to rise to the job.