President Donald Trump on Sunday acknowledged he still holds a grudge against Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah.), who was the only Republican senator excluded from the congressional coronavirus task force for reopening the U.S. economy.
Romney, a longtime businessman and onetime Republican nominee for president, was the lone GOP senator not invited to join the bipartisan committee of lawmakers announced by the White House on Thursday. Earlier this year, he was the sole Republican to vote to convict Trump for abuse of power during the Senate impeachment trial.
“Yeah, it does,” Trump told a reporter during a White House press briefing Sunday when asked if Romney’s exclusion from the task force meant he continued to hold a grudge against the senator.
“I’m not a fan of Mitt Romney. I don’t really want his advice,” Trump added when the journalist noted Romney’s experience as the former governor of Massachusetts.
Romney faced fierce backlash for his impeachment vote from Republicans. Trump, with whom he already had a contentious relationship, cast him as a fake Republican and a traitor.
Last week, the White House tapped House and Senate lawmakers to serve on the committee, termed the “Opening Up America Again Congressional Group.” The members of the task force include 52 Republicans and 12 Democrats in the Senate, as well as 22 GOP representatives and 10 Democrats from the House.
The group is one of several created by the Trump administration as it pushes efforts to resuscitate the economy, even as governors, health experts and economists warn a premature opening could backfire from both health and economic perspectives.
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