Trump says he's encouraging Hatch to run for reelection

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"Hatch is a known entity for Trump and has been really good for the president for the most part", Kirk Jowers, former chairman and general counsel for Romney's political action committee, told Politico.

Amidst a sea of Congressional Republicans increasingly frustrated with the president, Hatch has consistently remained a Trump loyalist ever since the 2016 presidential campaign.

President Trump shakes the hand of Sen. His vitriolic outburst perhaps reached its apex on March 3, 2016, when Romney slammed Trump as "a phony" and "a fraud" who is "playing the American public for suckers". This "persuasion" comes via private back-channeling and, more overtly, a personal appearance Trump will make today in which the president is expected to reduce the size of Utah's Bears Ears and Grand-Staircase Escalante national monuments, a cause that Hatch has championed. He feels that he still has unfinished work to do in the Senate, and his ability to shepherd through tax reform - which has always been a top goal for him - has deepened his feeling that he can continue to be an effective and powerful leader on Capitol Hill at a time when his party is deeply divided. The official goal of his trip was to announce the reduction of two national monuments in the state, though he could have signed those orders in the Oval Office.

During his visit to Utah, Trump admitted that he was encouraging Hatch to run for reelection. On Monday, reporters asked Trump about Romney's possible candidacy in Utah, and Trump said, "He's a good man. Mitt's a good man". "You are a true fighter, Orrin", he said at the beginning of a speech on the national monuments.

"We hope you continue to serve your state and your country in the Senate for a very long time", Trump said.

According to the Washington Examiner, Bannon is considering endorsing Hatch - a Mitch McConnell loyalist who's been in D.C. since 1976 - though he can't stop declaring "war" on the GOP Establishment. Hatch, who in 2012 said he would not run again, has since signaled that he is interested in doing so but has not made a final decision.

But as we were reminded when Trump attacked Hilary Clinton again Monday morning over her treatment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there are some political rivalries President Trump just can't seem to get over.

Romney, 70, is viewed as a virtual lock to win if he chooses to run for the Senate seat (and Hatch doesn't), with hypothetical polls showing he'd beat his potential Democratic opponent in the heavily Republican, heavily Mormon state by an increasingly huge margin.

Hatch is deeply torn about running, several sources close to the 83-year-old senator tell CNN.

He added that Trump has voiced his opinion to confidants that he doesn't much like the idea of a Sen. But Donald Trump does not want him to retire because of the person who would most likely replace him: Mitt Romney. "He knows for a fact he's not going to get that with Romney".

The moral of the story: Trump may be maneuvering against Romney; but, in truth, Hatch is vulnerable to just about any Republican primary challenger.

Hatch has defended Trump at times when the majority of the GOP has flocked in the opposite direction - and Trump has taken notice. And indeed, Hatch was reportedly telling friends he wouldn't. "He's not afraid to take on the big boss around here", Hatch said.

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