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Trump urging longest-serving Republican senator to run for re-election

05 Декабря 2017

Asked whether he was encouraging Hatch, who is the Senate president pro tempore and chairs its powerful Finance Committee, to run for re-election, Trump said "Yes".

President Donald Trump said on Monday he wants U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah to run for re-election, a move that puts Trump on a collision course with Republican rival Mitt Romney, who wants to run for Hatch's seat.

Trump had hours to persuade Hatch to run again while on Air Force One flying back and forth from Washington.

Also, Trump's former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, is contemplating endorsing Hatch to block Romney, the Washington Examiner reported Sunday. 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. "I don't know that he knows what he's going to get with Romney, but it's not going to be what he's got with Hatch", Jowers said. "He's not afraid to take on the big boss around here", Hatch said. Their suspicions are warranted: Trump has sounded off to friends about how he doesn't like the idea of a Senator Romney. But when the press followed up with a question about whether Trump's enthusiasm for Hatch was meant to deter Romney, he demurred, replying, "He's a good man. Mitt's a good man". Last year, he referred to Trump as a phony and a fraud during remarks at the University of Utah, and implored people not to vote for him.

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ABC News has reached out to a Romney spokesperson for comment but has not received a response. Trump previously said he is doing it for Hatch.

According to Politico, Romney himself has grown frustrated by the "ongoing uncertainty" about Hatch's future plans, especially after the senator encouraged him to consider run in the first place.

But Hatch is also a fan of Romney's. Hatch is 83 years old, and according to someone familiar with his thinking, he would indeed like to retire. Orrin Hatch to seek reelection - a push aimed in no small part at keeping the president's longtime nemesis, Mitt Romney, out of the Senate.

"Keep in mind that [Hatch] was the only person in Utah to stick with Trump through the campaign".

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Trump urging longest-serving Republican senator to run for re-election