Report: Trump Is Wooing Hatch to Keep Romney Out of Senate

President Trump is pushing Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch to seek re-election partly to sabotage Mitt Romney’s planned Senate run, Politico reports. Describing a behind-the-scenes campaign to persuade the 83-year-old Hatch to rethink plans to retire, the report says Trump’s scheduled appearance alongside the Senate Finance Committee chairman in Salt Lake City on Monday is designed, at least in part, to heap praise on the longtime lawmaker and nudge him toward re-election. Trump’s plan to keep Romney—who has dared to publicly criticize him—out of the Senate has also seen him appeal to his loyal ally Hatch in phone calls and White House visits, according to the report. During an official phone call with Hatch in October, the president told him, “I really hope you will consider running again,” the report said, citing a source familiar with the conversation. Romney has reportedly expressed frustration with the growing uncertainty over Hatch’s expected retirement, while those close to Trump have said it only makes sense for the president to want to keep a loyalist like Hatch in the Senate seat.