President Donald Trump fired back at Senator-elect Mitt Romney (R-Utah) over a very critical opinion piece he wrote in the Washington Post on Wednesday.
"I was surprised at Mitt Romney," said Trump to reporters at the White House.
"I just hope he's gonna be a team player," he added. "If he's a team player, uh, that will be great."
"I will say this," Trump added, "if he fought really hard against President Obama like he does against me, he would have won the election!"
'I won big, and he didn't'
The comments from the president echoed his tweet criticizing Romney earlier Wednesday.
"Here we go with Mitt Romney, but so fast!" the president tweeted. "Question will be, is he a Flake? 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 added. "He should be happy for all Republicans. Be a TEAM player & WIN!"
When Ryan Williams, the former spokesperson for Romney, was challenged by the criticism that his former boss was simply an "opportunist" seeking to attack the president for his political fortunes, he cited other times Romney attacked Trump.
"If you followed Governor Romney's campaign for Senate, you would see that in June of last year, in 2018, that he wrote a very similar opinion piece outlining the same things," Williams said on CNN.
"If you followed his tweets," he continued, "you'd see the governor has consistently disagreed with the president on his attacks on the media, on his approach to many issues, but he supported him on others."
"This is the way Romney has approached this for months, for years now," Williams concluded, "he's with the president on issues, but when he disagrees, he's not gonna hesitate to speak out."