Party and campaign officials said privately that they hoped Trump wouldn’t obsess over the lone defection and move on from impeachment, basking in his acquittal instead of engaging in a days-long tiff with Romney. The president has firm control of the party and could dictate a strategy that is more aggressive, advisers said, if his pique at Romney flares.
Trump told advisers in recent weeks that he was more worried about Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) than Romney, according to people who heard his comments. In the end, Collins and Murkowski voted with the president…
Republican and campaign officials said among the steps that could be taken to punish Romney are continued attacks on Twitter or through paid advertisements. Trump allies could also help fund an opponent in his state, although he’s not up for reelection until 2024, or push operatives or donors not to support or work for him. White House officials could block policy or budget priorities that Romney wants, according to aides who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal deliberations.
A senior Trump campaign official said the longer the Romney news cycle drags on, the worse it is for the president, because it focuses attention on his impeachment.