Trump pushing Hatch to run for 8th term

President-elect Donald Trump center eats dinner with Mitt Romney right and Trump Chief of Staff Reince Priebus at Jean Georges restaurant Tuesday Nov. 29 2016 in New York

President-elect Donald Trump center eats dinner with Mitt Romney right and Trump Chief of Staff Reince Priebus at Jean Georges restaurant Tuesday Nov. 29 2016 in New York

Citing five unnamed sources, The Atlantic reported recently that "Senator Orrin Hatch has privately told allies in Utah that he is planning to retire at the end of his term next year, and if he does, Mitt Romney intends to run for his seat".

While traveling in Utah, pool reporters asked if Trump was urging Hatch to run next year, as the Utah Republican considers retiring from the Senate. Their suspicions are warranted: Trump has sounded off to friends about how he doesn't like the idea of a Senator Romney. Despite delivering a passionate anti-Trump speech during the primaries, Romney has occasionally praised Trump's work as president.

In August, after Trump said there was blame on both sides for violence stemming from a rally of white supremacists and Nazi sympathizers in Charlottesville, West Virginia, Romney said the president needed to apologize. Trump previously said he is doing it for Hatch.

Trump has mostly tried to sway Hatch behind the scenes. After the Access Hollywood tape, Hatch said, "I'm not going to judge him by mistakes he made a decade before or more". "He's a good man".

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"Whether it's confirming judges, passing tax reform or accomplishing any part of his agenda, Hatch is a key player in getting anything done", Hatch spokesman Matt Whitlock said late Sunday.

Hatch also lobbied for reconsideration of the Bears Ears and Grand-Staircase national monuments, which were drastically reduced by Trump on Monday. Romney has been public about his disagreements with Trump and is a key figure in the Never Trump movement, while Hatch was an early supporter of Trump during the 2016 campaign and has since defended Trump's presidency. "Mitt Romney would be ideal". Trump received just 46 percent of the vote in the heavily Republican state, with independent Evan McMullin taking 22 percent of the vote.

"We hope you will continue to serve your state and the country in the Senate for a very long time to come", Trump said.

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