President Trump responds to Mitt Romney after he says Trump hasn't 'risen to the mantle of the office'

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Donald Trump is responding to blistering criticism from Republican Sen.- elect Mitt Romney, who said the president hasn't "risen to the mantle of the office."

Romney made the comments in an op-ed for the Washington Post Tuesday night, where he broadly criticized the president's policies and character.

Romney praised some of Trump's policy decisions, but added "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."

Romney says he doesn't intend to comment on every Trump tweet, but he promises to "speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions."

Trump's campaign manager, Brad Parscale, accused Romney of being jealous shortly after the column came out, saying that Romney, "lacked the ability to save this nation. @realDonaldTrump has saved it."



Now the president is responding to the op-ed himself.

President Trump tweeted Wednesday morning: "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!"



The Flake reference was to retiring Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, a Republican who has been a Trump critic.

The criticism comes just a couple days before Romney becomes a Utah senator.

He'll be sworn into the Senate on Thursday.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.