President Trump and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney spoke by phone late Tuesday night, a senior White House official confirmed to Fox News.
The call came amid reports that Trump is urging Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, to run for re-election in a bid to block Romney – who has been sharply critical of Trump since the 2016 campaign – from seeking the seat.
But White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway said on CNN that Trump described their phone call as a “wonderful conversation.”
“They discussed, among other things, what President Trump did the day before in Utah with national monuments — and talking about historic tax cuts and the like,” Conway told CNN.
“[Trump] has got a great relationship with Governor Romney,” Conway said of the former Massachusetts governor.
The White House would not detail whether the two discussed Romney’s potential run for U.S. Senate in Utah, should current Hatch decide to retire after seven terms.
During his visit to Utah on Monday, Trump publicly encouraged Hatch to run again.
“We hope you will continue to serve your state and your country in the Senate for a very long time to come,” Trump said at the event at the state capitol to announce a reduction of federal protected lands in Utah. Romney had been invited but did not attend.
During an impromptu gaggle with the traveling White House press corps following the president’s remarks in Utah, Hatch told reporters that he was still undecided on running again.
“We’ll have to see. I’ve gotten a lot of pressure to run, a lot of pressure not to. From my wife,” Hatch said.
When asked Wednesday morning by CNN whether it was true that the president did not want Romney to “take Orrin Hatch’s seat,” Conway replied that she had not seen Romney “file papers” for the seat.
“Senator Hatch may run for re-election,” she said.
The White House also would not confirm whether the Alabama Senate race came up during their conversation.
Trump and Romney have split on supporting controversial Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore in next Tuesday’s special election in Alabama. Despite sexual misconduct allegations against the nominee, the president openly endorsed Moore and said that Alabama need him over a “liberal Democrat.”
Romney tweeted on Monday that Moore “would be a stain on the GOP and on the nation.”
“No vote, no majority is worth losing our honor, our integrity,” he added.