U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday excluded Senator Mitt Romney, a Utah Republican, from a congressional group that convenes every other GOP senators and over 20 Democrats, which focuses on reopening the coronavirus-hit nation.
The 2012 Republican presidential nominee Romney was the only GOP senator to vote to convict Trump in his impeachment trial earlier this year. The senator voted to convict the president on the abuse of power charge and to acquit him on the obstruction of Congress charge. Several Democratic senators who voted to convict Trump were among those tapped to serve on the task force.
Trump hosted phone calls with members of the group on Thursday, said a White House press release. The dialogue included “the need for additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, the international and domestic supply chains, ways to energize the economy, surprise medical billing, clarifying the difference between essential and non-essential workers, mental health, and relief for small businesses,” the release said.
Earlier in the day, Trump lashed out at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who initiated the impeachment drive against him last year and has recently criticized his handling of the coronavirus outbreak. “She is totally incompetent & controlled by the Radical Left, a weak and pathetic puppet. Come back to Washington and do your job!” Trump tweeted.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Pelosi said that Trump “ignored the warnings about the pandemic” and that “he told his most loyal followers it was a hoax and would magically disappear.”
“Because of an incompetent reaction to this health crisis, the strong economy handed to Donald Trump is now a disaster, causing the suffering of countless Americans and endangering lives,” she added.