Donald Trump and Mitt Romney had dined together after 2016 election despite fallout
In January 1995, Mitt Romney boarded Donald Trump’s airplane for a ride to Palm Beach, Florida, where the two toured Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort before attending the Super Bowl in Miami. They bonded over football as they attended more NFL games in subsequent years, and Trump said it was a “real honor” to endorse Romney’s 2012 presidential bid.
Romney, however, refused to return the favor of an endorsement in 2016, calling Trump a “phony,” and the two were widely seen as detesting each other. Romney, just before taking his seat as a Republican senator from Utah in January, wrote in an op-ed that Trump “has not risen to the mantle of his office.
Two months later, little known to the public, Trump and Romney met for lunch at the White House. The subject was supposed to be their shared belief that the United States needed to take tough action against China’s trade policies. The effort at a rapprochement, described in interviews by Romney and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who facilitated it, went further and deeper than expected or publicly known.
As had happened time and again in one of the most bizarre relationships in Republican politics, it fell apart in a blizzard of bitter words. Romney became one of the most outspoken Republican critics in the Senate of Trump’s telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the president’s decision to withdraw troops from…