UPDATE: Here's the Trump tweet.
Here we go with Mitt Romney, but so fast! Question will be, is he a Flake? I hope not. Would much prefer that Mitt focus on Border Security and so many other things where he can be helpful. I won big, and he didn’t. He should be happy for all Republicans. Be a TEAM player & WIN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2019
On March 3, 2016, just a few days before key primaries in the presidential election, Mitt Romney urged voters not to vote for one man on the ballot: Donald Trump. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican nominee for president, who is being sworn into the Senate this week, said the following of Trump:
"Here's what I know: Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud," Romney said. "His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He's playing members of the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House, and all we get is a lousy hat."
After Trump secured the 2016 nomination and then won the general election, the two were on friendly terms for awhile. At one point reports even suggested that Trump was considering Romney for a cabinet position. Yet, it appears that something Trump did or said has again irked Romney to the point he has issued another very public, very strong rebuke of him. Here's just a taste as to why Romney thinks Trump has not "risen to the mantle of the office." He writes in the Washington Post:
The Trump presidency made a deep descent in December. The departures of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John F.?Kelly, the appointment of senior persons of lesser experience, the abandonment of allies who fight beside us, and the president’s thoughtless claim that America has long been a “sucker” in world affairs all defined his presidency down.
"Trump’s words and actions have caused dismay around the world," the author declared.
Romney criticized not only Trump's foreign policy, of course, but his character as well.
To a great degree, a presidency shapes the public character of the nation. A president should unite us and inspire us to follow “our better angels.” A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect. As a nation, we have been blessed with presidents who have called on the greatness of the American spirit. With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring.
Brad Parscale, who runs Trump's re-election campaign, suggested that the incoming senator is just jealous that Trump succeeded where he couldn't.
The truth is @MittRomney lacked the ability to save this nation. @realDonaldTrump has saved it. Jealously is a drink best served warm and Romney just proved it. So sad, I wish everyone had the courage @realDonaldTrump had. https://t.co/mbxoTqbSX6— Brad Parscale (@parscale) January 2, 2019
Romney did give Trump kudos for ushering in beneficial trade practices and appointing conservative justices. But again, when it comes to the president's language, Romney promised he "will speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions."