UTAH – Though they have denounced him in the past, Utah’s senators have extended their congratulations to President-elect Donald Trump for a hard-fought victory.
In statements issued from Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee Wednesday, they remarked on Trump winning the White House, as well as the Republican majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Sen. Orrin Hatch:
Congratulations to President-elect Trump on his historic election. The American people also voted for Republican majorities in the House and Senate. After a contested election, now is the time to bring the nation together and seek reforms to create jobs, boost economic growth, enable greater individual opportunity, and help put the country and its citizens back on the right track. I look forward to working closely with President-elect Trump to address the critical issues facing our country.
The American people sent a powerful message tonight by reelecting a strong Republican Senate majority. My colleagues fought hard in many contested races and I was grateful to travel the country fighting alongside them. The American people will be well-served with Republican majorities in both the House and Senate.
Sen. Mike Lee:
This entire election year has been humbling for all Americans, and especially so for the political establishment in Washington, D.C. The message of 2016 is that the American people have become increasingly skeptical of the federal government.
I congratulate President-Elect Trump and look forward to helping him repeal Obamacare, return education to the states, reduce regulation, and confirm conservative judges.
In October, Hatch was among Utah Republicans and others who denounced Trump’s lewd comments about women that were said and recorded during a conversation 11 years ago and ultimately made public in early October.
However, he did not withdraw his support of the then-presidential candidate and later was a part of a pro-Trump rally in Salt Lake City.
Lee has had a beef with Trump since the days before the primary election, which has included negative comments Trump made about Sen. Ted Cruz, a friend of the Utah senator. He has also criticized Trump for proposing something of a “religion test” in relation to Muslim immigrants and potentially banning their entry into the country.
He never extended an endorsement to Trump and asked him to drop out of the presidential race in the wake of his controversial comments of over a decade ago.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, when he went to vote, Lee voted for independent candidate Evan McMullin as “a protest vote” against his party’s nominee.
Lee’s name was included in a list of 10 possible Supreme Court Justice nominees Trump may consider. In response to the list, a spokesman for the senator told Politico that “Sen. Lee already had the job he wants.”
According to preliminary election returns in Utah, Trump garnered 46.74 percent of the vote, with Clinton taking 27.61 percent while independent candidate Evan McMullin received 20.75 percent and Libertarian Gary Johnson an estimated 3.18 percent.
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