Business Insider Edition

Trump is ready to take revenge and make Mitt Romney's life a living hell after the Utah senator voted for the president's removal

Tom Porter , Business Insider US
 Feb 09, 2020, 04:46 PM

Trump with a newspaper displaying the headline "Acquitted" on Thursday.
  • President Donald Trump is said to be determined to take revenge on Sen. Mitt Romney, who was the only Republican to break with his party colleagues Wednesday and vote to remove Trump from office.
  • "The only one that voted against us was a guy that can't stand the fact that he ran one of the worst campaigns in the history of the presidency," Trump said Thursday in a gibe aimed at Romney's failed 2012 presidential candidacy.
  • Trump is said to be thinking about funding a primary challenger for Romney or pressuring top operatives and donors not to work with the senator.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

President Donald Trump is said to be determined to take revenge on those he believes betrayed him during the impeachment trial - and at the top of the list is Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah.

A Republican close to the White House and a senior administration official told Politico that the president felt particularly aggrieved by Romney's decision to break ranks Wednesday and become the only Republican to vote to convict him in the Senate impeachment trial.

Trump at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC, on Thursday triumphantly held aloft newspapers proclaiming his acquittal of both impeachment charges against him and singled out Romney for attack, criticising the senator's claim that his faith guided his decision to convict.

"I don't like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong," Trump said at the traditionally nonpartisan event. "Nor do I like people who say, 'I pray for you,' when they know that that's not so. So many people have been hurt, and we can't let that go on."

Trump again attacked Romney in remarks later at the White House, claiming Romney was sore about losing to President Barack Obama as the Republican nominee in the 2012 presidential election.

"The only one that voted against us was a guy that can't stand the fact that he ran one of the worst campaigns in the history of the presidency," Trump said.

A network of Trump's allies, including his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., had unleashed a wave of attacks against the senator on social media after the impeachment vote. Romney voted to convict Trump of abuse of power along with every Democrat but voted to acquit him of obstruction of Congress.

In a bizarre Instagram post Wednesday, the younger Trump posted a picture with a caption calling Romney a "p---y" wearing "mom jeans."

"He was too weak to beat the Democrats then so he's joining them now," he added, referring to 2012. "He's now officially a member of the resistance & should be expelled from the @GOP." He made a similar argument on Twitter.

Officials say the public attacks are the opening salvos in a campaign meant to freeze Romney out of the party he once led.

Trump campaign officials told The Washington Post on Wednesday that if reelected, Trump could direct funding to a Romney challenger when he faces reelection as a senator in Utah, pressure donors not to work with Romney, or attempt to stymie his legislative priorities in Congress.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday was asked by reporters whether steps would be taken to punish Romney, but he struck a different note.

"We don't have any doghouses here. The most important vote is the next vote," said the senator, who masterminded Trump's impeachment acquittal.

In an interview with Fox's Chris Wallace on Wednesday, Romney said he knew there would be blowback for his decision and was braced for it.

"I understand there's going to be enormous consequence," he said. "And I don't have a choice in that regard. That's why - that's why I haven't been anxious to be in the position I'm in."

A White House spokesman and a representative for Romney did not immediately respond to requests for additional comment.

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