Senator-elect Mitt Romney (R-UT) issued a scathing critique of President Donald Trump, disparaging his character as un-Presidential.
Trump shot back, accusing Romney of failing to be a team player. He also pointed out that Romney had accepted the President's endorsement.
Romney appeared on The Lead with Jake Tapper to discuss the op-ed.
"In matters that relate to the diverseness that's been part of our political environment I'll speak out," he said. He said the withdrawal from Syria and Secretary of State James Mattis' resignation inspired him to speak out.
He added that Trump's demeanor matters. "A president like any leader ... has an impact not just policies but also on the character of the people who watch that person," Romney said.
Romney listed Trump's actions that have alarmed him, listing Charlottesville, his support for Roy Moore and his attacks on the media. "So I've laid out time and again places where I disagree with the President," Romney said. "In the forming of national character, we could do a better job."
In 2016, Romney claimed that due to the President's inappropriate statements about the Klan, Muslims, the disabled and other politically charged topics, he wouldn't accept his endorsement. Yet, he enthusiastically thanks Trump for backing him in his Senate race. Host Jake Tapper pressed Romney about why he accepted Donald Trump's endorsement, especially given his years of spreading birther conspiracy theories about then-President Barack Obama.
"I'm sure I've made a lot of mistakes. I'll let the people assess which things were the mistakes," Romney replied.