Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTrump and Senate Republicans at a showdown over government oversight? Romney, Murphy introduce bill to name global health coordinator, council amid coronavirus pandemic Two Democrats roll out bill to protect inspectors general from politically motivated firing MORE (Utah) is the only Republican senator not on a congressional task force created by the White House to study reopening parts of the country shuttered by the coronavirus.
A list released by the White House on Thursday afternoon of the “Opening Up America Again Congressional Group” included nearly 70 senators, including all 52 of Romney’s GOP colleagues in the chamber.
A spokeswoman for Romney and a source familiar confirmed that the GOP senator was not asked to take part in the task force.
Trump has viewed the Utah senator, and 2012 GOP presidential nominee, as a Republican antagonist since he joined the Senate in 2019.
Romney was the only GOP senator to vote for one of the articles — abuse of power — during the Senate impeachment trial earlier this year.
But the bad blood goes back years. Romney was critical of Trump during the 2016 Republican presidential primary, and Trump lashed out at Romney in February 2016 as “one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics.”
The two appeared to reconcile with Trump considering Romney for a Cabinet post and endorsing his Senate bid in 2018.
But Romney has publicly broken with Trump at times since joining the Senate, including appearing critical of Trump’s rhetoric regarding the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainKelly expands lead over McSally in Arizona Kelly expands cash advantage over McSally in Arizona Senate race Megan McCain knocks Trump over comments honoring POWs MORE (R-Ariz.) and saying he was “sickened” by Trump’s behavior as described in former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN’s Toobin warns McCabe is in ‘perilous condition’ with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill’s 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE‘s report.
Romney’s comments have made him one of the GOP senators most willing to break with Trump, after the death of McCain and retirement of former Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeMcSally campaign to suspend TV ads, canvassing amid pandemic Coronavirus isn’t the only reason Congress should spend less time in DC Trump Jr. says he inherited ‘Tourette’s of the thumbs’ from his father MORE (R-Ariz.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerMcConnell, Romney vie for influence over Trump’s trial RNC says ex-Trump ambassador nominee’s efforts ‘to link future contributions to an official action’ were ‘inappropriate’ Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight MORE (R-Tenn.).
Trump has publicly lashed out at Romney, calling for him to be kicked out of the Senate GOP caucus and accusing him of being a “secret Democrat asset.”
Romney wasn’t the only senator not included on the new White House task force. More than two dozen Democrats were not included, such as Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren: If Biden asked me to be VP, I would say yes The Hill’s Campaign Report: Warren throws her support behind Biden Former Sanders press secretary: ‘My objective is to push Joe Biden into being a better candidate’ MORE (D-Mass.), and Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren: If Biden asked me to be VP, I would say yes Hillicon Valley: Pentagon IG could not determine if White House interfered in cloud contract | Amazon firings fuel controversy over virus response | States begin shifting to mail-in voting | Agencies warn of North Korean cyber threats The Hill’s Campaign Report: Warren throws her support behind Biden MORE (I-Vt.), who both ran for the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination. Red-state Democrats Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinCoronavirus watch: Southern states begin to see rise in cases Democratic senators call for funding for local media in coronavirus stimulus Politicians mourn the death of Bill Withers MORE (W.Va.) and Doug Jones (Ala.) also were not included.
Updated at 5:10 p.m.