UPDATE: White Home says President Trump is sad Hatch is retiring

WASHINGTON (AP)– 3:09 p.m. Cropped Image: Diliff/ Wikipedia/ CC BY-SA 3.0 The White Home says President Donald Trump is”

very unfortunate”that Utah Republican Orrin Hatch has actually decided to leave the Senate instead of run for re-election this year. Trump had been motivating the 83-year-old senator to seek a 8th term

. But Hatch announced Tuesday that he will retire when his term ends early next year. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Trump has the “greatest and deepest respect”for Hatch and is particularly thankful for his leadership on the recently enacted tax expense. Hatch’s decision would appear to clear the way for former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney to run for

the seat. Sanders declined to say whether Trump would be open to supporting Romney, saying she has yet to talk about that with the president. __ 2:21 p.m. Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah states he will not seek re-election after serving more than 40 years in the U.S. Senate

. Hatch

, 83, states

he’s constantly been a fighter,”but every excellent fighter understands when to hang up the gloves.”Hatch is the longest-serving Republican politician in the

Senate. He chairs the powerful Senate Finance Committee and was a significant force in getting a tax overhaul through

in December. His retirement opens the door for Republican Mitt Romney to run for his seat. Hatch states he decided to retire at the end of his seventh term after “much prayer and conversation with household and friends “over the vacation break. He states”I might be leaving the Senate, but

the next chapter in my civil service is simply starting. “


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