Sep 22, 2019

Romney condemns Trump-Ukraine allegations as "troubling in the extreme"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Sunday responded to allegations that President Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden and his son, condemning them as "troubling in the extreme" and tweeting that it's "[c]ritical for the facts to come out."

Why it matters: Romney's comments are the harshest to come from a Republican senator thus far, with others largely remaining silent or dismissing the allegations as gossip. It's worth noting, however, that both Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani confirmed on Sunday that the president discussed Biden during a July 25 phone call with Zelensky, though they contend that there was no "quid pro quo" involved.

The big picture: This is not the first time that Romney, a former presidential candidate, has spoken out against Trump. After the release of the redacted Mueller report in April, Romney tweeted that he was "sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the President."

  • But despite his condemnation of Trump's behavior at various points, Romney has never gone as far as Democrats in specifically calling for Trump to be investigated or impeached.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday that if the administration continues to block a whistleblower complaint involving Trump and Ukraine from being released, "they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation."

Go deeper: Trump confirms he discussed Biden with Ukrainian president

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Senate's new maverick Republican: Mitt Romney and the whistleblower complaint

Mitt Romney. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Image

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) is standing as a maverick in his party, coming out as one of few Republicans to openly question President Trump's disputed conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Driving the news: Romney tweeted last Sunday: "If the President asked or pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his political rival, either directly or through his personal attorney, it would be troubling in the extreme." He also told NBC on Monday that Trump should make the whistleblower complaint available to Congress because it would be "very helpful to get [to] the bottom of the facts."

Go deeperArrowSep 25, 2019

Romney dismisses Trump attacks, falsely claims not to follow him on Twitter

Mitt Romney. Photo: Aurora Samperio/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) dismissed President Trump's latest tweets attacking the lawmaker on Thursday, stating he does not follow the president on Twitter and that he's unconcerned about the president's criticisms, per The Hill.

Reality check: A search shows that Romney's personal account, @MittRomney, does, in fact, follow @realDonaldTrump on Twitter — the account from which the president has authored the attacks, but his @SenatorRomney account does not.

Go deeperArrowOct 10, 2019

Mitt Romney calls for Trump-Ukraine whistleblower complaint to be released

Mitt Romney. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) told NBC News' Geoff Bennett on Monday that the Trump administration should make the whistleblower complaint that reportedly involves the president and Ukraine available to Congress, adding that it would be "very helpful to get [to] the bottom of the facts."

The big picture: Romney continues to be the only Republican senator to condemn allegations that Trump pressured Ukraine's president to investigate Joe Biden, tweeting on Sunday that the reports are "troubling in the extreme." Romney told NBC that it would be "up to the House to decide how to proceed" if the administration fails to release the whistleblower complaint.

Go deeperArrowSep 23, 2019