Romney says attending Trump meeting doesn’t reflect change of heart

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Wednesday noted his attendance at the Senate Republicans’ meeting last week with former President Trump does not mean he has changed his opinion of the former president.

“I didn’t go there to support former President Trump, I went there to listen to what he was planning on doing if he became president,” Romney told CNN anchor Manu Raju on Tuesday. “With President Trump, it’s a matter of personal character.”

“I draw a line and say, when someone has been actually found to have been sexually assaulting, that’s something I just won’t cross over in the person I would want to have as president of the United States,” he continued, in reference to the jury decision that found Trump liable for sexual battery against writer E. Jean Carroll.

Trump visited Capitol Hill last week and met with Republicans from both chambers of Congress. The trip marked his first time back to the Capitol since the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection and was the first official meeting with the Senate GOP conference since his presidency.

Romney, who has emerged as a GOP critic of Trump, has repeatedly called out the former president’s character and said he will “absolutely not” be voting for him in the November election.

When asked about his decision against voting for Trump earlier this year, the Utah Republican pointed to “two factors” — policy and character.

“What America is as a nation, what has allowed us to be the most powerful nation on Earth, and the leader of the Earth is the character of the people who have been our leaders,” Romney said. “Past presidents, but also mothers, fathers, church leaders, university presidents, and so forth.”

“Having a president who is so defaulted of character would have an enormous impact on the character of America,” he added. “And for me, that’s the primary consideration.”

Romney, who ran for president in 2012 and secured the GOP nomination, has also said he differs with Trump over foreign policy.

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