Update 8:04 a.m. EST Jan. 2: President Donald Trump responded to Romney's editorial in a tweet Wednesday morning.
“Here we go with Mitt Romney, but so fast! Question will be, is he a Flake?” Trump tweeted, likely referring to departing Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona. “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!”
Original report: Former Republican presidential nominee and incoming U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney slammed President Donald Trump's character Tuesday in a blistering op-ed for the Washington Post.
"It is well known that Donald Trump was not my choice for the Republican presidential nomination," the frequent Trump critic wrote. "After he became the nominee, I hoped his campaign would refrain from resentment and name-calling. It did not."
>> Read the op-ed here
But Romney – who lauded the president's appointments of former Chief of Staff John Kelly, former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other officials who have since left the administration – said he had hoped that Trump would "rise to the occasion" after the 2016 election.
That hasn’t happened, Romney said.
"His conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions this month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office," Romney wrote.
Romney went on to say that presidents must have "honesty and integrity."
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"As a nation, we have been blessed with presidents who have called on the greatness of the American spirit," he continued. "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."
As of early Wednesday, Trump had not commented on the piece, but his 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, defended the president on Twitter.
"The truth is @MittRomney lacked the ability to save this nation," Parscale tweeted. "@realDonaldTrump has saved it. Jealousy is a drink best served warm and Romney just proved it. So sad, I wish everyone had the courage @realDonaldTrump had."
>> Read the tweet here