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Trump calls for Romney’s impeachment in Saturday Twitter storm

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FILE - Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, speaks during a groundbreaking ceremony for Northrop Grumman’s missile defense development facility in Roy on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — President Donald Trump unleashed a storm of tweets Saturday against Sen. Mitt Romney, calling the Utah Republican names and ending his last missive with “#IMPEACHMITTROMNEY.”

The stream of invective began at about 8 a.m. with the president defending his phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, which is at the center of a House impeachment inquiry, and his asking China to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son.

“Somebody please wake up Mitt Romney and tell him that my conversation with the Ukrainian President was a congenial and very appropriate one, and my statement on China pertained to corruption, not politics. If Mitt worked this hard on Obama, he could have won. Sadly, he choked!”

About 10 minutes later the president got a little nastier, calling Romney a “pompous ‘ass’” who “begged” for Trump’s endorsement in his 2012 presidential race and for the secretary of state post after Trump won in 2016.

Then about five hours later, Trump lit in to Utah’s junior senator suggesting he should be impeached.

“I’m hearing that the Great People of Utah are considering their vote for their Pompous Senator, Mitt Romney, to be a big mistake. I agree! He is a fool who is playing right into the hands of the Do Nothing Democrats! #IMPEACHMITTROMNEY”

A senator can’t be impeached. The Senate and the House can expel one of its members with a two-thirds vote.

And the president’s tweets are unlikely to ignite a campaign against Romney, who easily won his Senate seat with more than 64% of the vote. A July survey by Utah Policy showed Romney with a 38% job approval rating.

But Romney has become the most prominent senator to voice concern about allegations that Trump pressured Zelenskiy to investigate Biden and his son Hunter Biden. And on Friday, Romney harshly criticized the president for publicly encouraging China to investigate the Bidens, as well.

“The President’s brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling,” Romney tweeted.

It was that statement that likely sparked Trump’s Twitter rant on Saturday.

Romney is not commenting on the president’s latest tweets. Instead, on his personal Twitter feed, Romney posted a photo of him, his wife and two grandchildren enjoying an autumn afternoon at a pumpkin patch.

“Enjoyed the pumpkin patch with my sweetheart and the two little pumpkins we brought with us!”

Romney and Trump have had a strained relationship since Romney lost the 2012 presidential election to President Barack Obama. When it appeared Trump was going to win the GOP nomination in 2016, Romney gave a speech at the University of Utah, calling Trump a fraud and phony.

Trump endorsed Romney’s Senate campaign, but the day before the senator was sworn in he wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post saying Trump “has not risen to the mantle of the office.”