Mitt Romney has landed his most forceful criticism of Donald Trump yet on Friday, saying that the president’s apparent calls for foreign meddling in the 2020 election are “brazen and unprecedented.”
Romney, who was among the first Republicans to publicly voice concern over a whistleblower complaint against Trump for reportedly pushing Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, took his criticism a step further on Friday after Trump publicly called for both Ukraine and China to investigate the Bidens. Trump said in remarks to reporters that both countries should look into allegations of wrongdoing, which Trump has not offered evidence to back and which multiple reports have said are unfounded.
The Utah senator and former Republican presidential candidate said that the calls were politically motivated, even as Trump insists that he is only trying to root out corruption.
“When the only American citizen President Trump singles out for China’s investigation is his political opponent in the midst of the Democratic nomination process, it strains credulity to suggest that it is anything other than politically motivated,” Romney tweeted.
Romney had said last week that it would be “troubling in the extreme” if it were true that Trump asked or pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate Biden, Trump’s potential 2020 political rival.
Romney’s opposition to Trump could be important should the House vote to impeach Donald Trump. While the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives appears to have the votes needed to impeach Trump, it would require a two-thirds vote of the U.S. Senate in order to convict him and remove him from office. Most Republicans have either remained quiet on impeachment so far or offered some level of defense to Trump, though some reports indicate that the GOP could turn on him.
As The Inquisitr reported last week, there are indications that a large number of Republicans would move to remove Trump from office, especially if the vote could be held in secret. The first report came from Republican political consultant Mike Murphy, a former adviser to Romney who claimed that he believed 30 Republicans could vote with Democrats if the vote were held in secret.
Former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, a Republican who frequently spoke out against Trump, said later on Fox News that he believed the number were actually higher.
“I heard someone say if there were a private vote there would be 30 Republican votes. That’s not true,” Flake said. “There would be at least 35.”
Donald Trump has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and called the impeachment inquiry a “coup” attempt, but on Friday conceded that Democrats in the House of Representatives would have the votes to impeach him if they wanted.