Romney and Trump spoke following trip to Utah, Conway says
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Wednesday that President Donald Trump and Mitt Romney spoke by phone following the President’s trip to Utah on Monday.
“The President and Gov. Romney spoke, I don’t know, 10 hours ago, less than 12 hours ago, and people should know that because otherwise there’s speculation,” Conway told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on CNN’s “New Day.”
Conway said that the two have a “great relationship” and discussed tax cuts and Trump’s recent decision to shrink the Bears Ears monument.
Romney is being widely encouraged to run for Sen. Orrin Hatch’s Senate seat should Hatch retire, and several “Draft Romney” groups have formed across Utah trying to nudge the former Republican presidential nominee into the race. (None of them, however, have the blessing of or cooperation with Romney’s nuclear team of advisers, according to several sources who speak regularly with the former Massachusetts governor.)
Conway didn’t say whether that was addressed.
“I didn’t see Gov. Romney file papers to run for Orrin Hatch’s seat. Hatch may run for re-election,” Conway said, later adding, “Gov. Romney would want to be in public service in many different roles.”
Romney and Trump have long been fierce political rivals. Romney called on Republicans to block Trump’s path to the presidency in 2016, and shortly after Trump endorses Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore this week, Romney said his election next week would be “a stain on the GOP and on the nation.”
On Tuesday, top Trump ally Steve Bannon lashed out at the 2012 GOP presidential nominee during a rally for Moore, saying Romney “hid behind” his Mormon faith to avoid military service in Vietnam.
Romney, a devout Mormon, served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in France for two and a half years in the late 1960s. Trump, too, sought deferments to avoid service in Vietnam.
Conway said she wasn’t sure the President was aware that Bannon planned to zero-in on Romney during his speech, adding that Trump had been entertaining guests for three hours at a ball.
She did say, however, that Trump did not send Bannon down to Alabama for Tuesday night’s rally.
“Steve Bannon has been with Roy Moore for a while now,” she said.