'The president has not risen to the mantle of the office'

Jeff Flake speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington Dec. 6 2018. The Associated Press

Jeff Flake speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington Dec. 6 2018. The Associated Press

Mitt Romney, the former Republican presidential candidate and incoming U.S. senator, has sharply criticised Donald Trump both personally and professionally, accusing him of deserting the nation's allies and lacking the character to lead a "divided" nation.

On March 3, 2016, just a few days before key primaries in the presidential election, Mitt Romney urged voters not to vote for one man on the ballot: Donald Trump. "It did not", Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, wrote in the opinion piece, adding that several of Trump's Cabinet appointments had been "encouraging".

Romney's biting public assessment of Trump comes as the president and Senate Republicans face a new governing dynamic after losing House control to Democrats. Be a TEAM player & WIN!'

Romney did manage to compliment the president for a few of his decision, including his efforts to renegotiate trade with China, leading the call for prison reform, and the tax cuts, but the compliments ended there. Mitt Romney as he assumes office after he wrote a scathing op-ed in The Washington Post.

President Trump has also sent out a tweet Wednesday morning, saying he "would much prefer that Mitt focus on Border Security and so many other things where he can be helpful".

The two later appeared to bury their bitterness, with Trump briefly considering Romney for secretary of state after he won the White House and endorsing Romney's 2018 run for the Senate. "And it is in this province where the incumbent's shortfall has been most glaring", wrote Romney.

"I think it's important for me to work for people who I think are basically honest, who tell the truth as best they know it", McChrystal pointedly said and confirmed that he thinks Trump is "immoral". But Romney's stature in the party and in his home state may give him wider latitude to act as a counterweight to Trump in the party.

The tone of Tuesday's op-ed, as well as its timing, are likely to assuage certain congressional lawmakers of both parties who hoped Romney would adopt the role of a Republican elder statesman on Capitol Hill during his freshman term in the Senate - especially following the death of former senator John McCain in August and the exodus of numerous president's Republican critics after November's midterm elections.

Romney made clear in the op-ed that he largely plans to go along with the Republican Party-and not seek to challenge Trump at every turn.

Representatives for Romney could not be immediately reached for comment on the tweets by Trump or McDaniel.

Brad Parscale, Trump's 2020 campaign manager, tweeted Tuesday night: 'The truth is @MittRomney lacked the ability to save this nation.

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