December 4, 2017 / 7:17 PM / 13 days ago

Trump says encouraging Hatch to run for re-election, possibly blocking a Romney bid

SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Monday said he supports Utah Senator Orrin Hatch running for re-election next year, as speculation mounts that fellow Republican and frequent Trump critic Mitt Romney hopes to take the seat.

Asked whether he was encouraging Hatch, who is the Senate president pro tempore and chairs its powerful Finance Committee, to run for re-election, Trump said “Yes.” While he and Hatch toured a Salt Lake City food pantry alongside leaders of the Church of Latter Day Saints, Trump sidestepped questions of whether he was trying to block Romney from running, saying only “He’s a good man.” Romney and Hatch are Mormons.

Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Writing by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Dan Grebler

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