Dec 15, 2017 - Politics

Romney reportedly plans Utah Senate run should Hatch retire

Colin E. Braley / AP

Mitt Romney plans to jump into Utah's 2018 Senate race if Sen. Orrin Hatch decides to retire, according to a report from UtahPolicy.com. Neither Romney nor Hatch responded to requests for comment from Axios.

  • Utah's senior senator will be 84 on Election Day next year. He's said that he'd run again provided that both he and his wife remained in good health. UtahPolicy.com says that Hatch plans to make that decision in December.
  • Another factor: There's no news yet on whether Never Trumper Evan McMullin might jump in. He has remained an active political voice since his Utah-focused 2016 presidential run.
  • Why it matters: The timeline for Hatch's decision means that other candidates might not be able to assemble the resources needed to run. That wouldn't be a problem for Romney, who could easily put together a campaign apparatus on short notice.

What's next

Bolton alleges in book that Trump tied Ukraine aid to investigations

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton alleges in his forthcoming book that the president explicitly told him "he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens," the New York Times first reported.

Why this matters: The revelations present a dramatic 11th hour turn in Trump's Senate impeachment trial. They directly contradict Trump's claim that he never tied the hold-up of Ukrainian aid to his demands for investigations into his political opponent Joe Biden.

Honoring Kobe Bryant: Sports stars, politicians and celebrities mourn NBA great

Kobe Bryant on court for the Los Angeles Lakers during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest on All-Star Saturday Night, part of 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend at American Airlines Center in Dallas in February 2010. Photo: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Sports stars, politicians and celebrities paid tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a California helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others on Saturday. He was 41.

What they're saying: Lakers great Shaquille O'Neal said in an Instagram post of his former teammate, "There's no words to express the pain I'm going through now with this tragic and sad moment of losing my friend, my brother, my partner in winning championships, my dude and my homie. I love you brother and you will be missed."

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What's next: Trump's broader travel ban

A sign for International Arrivals is shown at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Photo: Ted S. Warren/AP

President Trump is expected to announce an expanded travel ban this week, which would restrict immigration from seven additional countries — Nigeria, Myanmar, Sudan, Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan and Tanzania, per multiple reports.

  • The announcement would come on the third anniversary of Trump's original travel ban, which targeted Muslim-majority nations, per Axios' Stef Kight.