Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney’s latest criticism of President Donald Trump brought him a swift rebuke from former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
On Friday, Romney greeted the release of unredacted portions of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report with a tweet stating he was glad government will not be distracted by obstruction of justice charges against Trump.
Although the report made it clear that Trump vehemently opposed the investigation — which Trump said publicly throughout the nearly two years of the Mueller probe — the report also said there was no proof that Trump’s anger with the probe translated into actions that impeded the investigation. The report also made clear that neither Trump nor the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election, which was the initial reason for the investigation.
“It is good news that there was insufficient evidence to charge the President of the United States with having conspired with a foreign adversary or with having obstructed justice,” Romney said in the statement. “The alternative would have taken us through a wrenching process with the potential for constitutional crisis. The business of government can move on.”
The niceties over, Romney — who staunchly opposed Trump’s 2016 candidacy for the Republican nomination for president — let Trump and the Trump campaign have it.
“I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the President,” Romney went on to assert in the statement.
“I am also appalled that, among other things, fellow citizens working in a campaign for president welcomed help from Russia — including information that had been illegally obtained; that none of them acted to inform American law enforcement; and that the campaign chairman was actively promoting Russian interests in Ukraine,” the statement said.
I have now read the redacted Mueller report and offer my personal reaction: pic.twitter.com/ACnExskqXJ
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) April 19, 2019
Romney, who has often been tweaked by Trump for losing the 2012 presidential election to former President Barack Obama, closed his statement by denigrating the state of American politics with Trump in the White House.
“Reading the report is a sobering revelation of how far we have strayed from the aspirations and principles of the founders,” he said in the statement.
Huckabee noted that Romney has divided his time between cozying up to Trump and lambasting the president.
Know what makes me sick, Mitt? Not how disingenuous you were to take @realDonaldTrump $$ and then 4 yrs later jealously trash him & then love him again when you begged to be Sec of State, but makes me sick that you got GOP nomination and could have been @POTUS https://t.co/dmidOraRGQ
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) April 19, 2019
“Know what makes me sick, Mitt? Not how disingenuous you were to take @realDonaldTrump $$ and then 4 yrs later jealously trash him & then love him again when you begged to be Sec of State, but makes me sick that you got GOP nomination and could have been @POTUS,” Huckabee tweeted.
There were some Republicans (like Mitt) who really didn’t understand what the Mueller report revealed, but to be fair, there are some Dems (like @Mark_Penn ) who completely understand. His column is sobering and courageous. https://t.co/rPC0BOurie
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) April 20, 2019
Huckabee, the father of White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, was not the only one taking issue with Romney’s comments.
Mitt Romney doesn’t care about Trump, the Mueller report, the GOP, or the Democrats.
Mitt Romney cares about one thing, himself.
— Kambree Kawahine Koa (@KamVTV) April 20, 2019
Who is Mitt Romney? https://t.co/XS8bv4yLHI
— Adrian Norman (@AdrianNormanDC) April 20, 2019
Mitt Romney is the Lisa Murkowski of Jeff Flakes.
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) April 20, 2019
Romney had attacked Trump in a January Op-Ed in The Washington Post.
“But, on balance, his conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions this month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office,” Romney said.
Romney admitted that he has few policy bones to pick with Trump, but said that Trump has been lacking in the role of moralist-in-chief.
“To a great degree, a presidency shapes the public character of the nation,” Romney wrote. “A president should unite us and inspire us to follow ‘our better angels.’ A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect. As a nation, we have been blessed with presidents who have called on the greatness of the American spirit. With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring.”
Trump replied to that shot on Twitter.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2019
“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 tweeted, invoking former Sen. Jeff Flake. The Arizona Republican bitterly opposed Trump’s policies prior to his departure from the Senate.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.