Over the last couple of weeks, he’s sought to influence the course of the trial, just as he’s tried to steer Senate Republicans in other debates, ranging from trade to foreign policy.

“This is not the first time he’s done this, so I think there’s a pattern developing,” said one Republican senator who requested anonymity to discuss internal dynamics.

“I think he’s talking to persuadables,” the lawmaker said, referring to colleagues who were wavering over how to vote on witnesses.

Many GOP colleagues take Romney’s critiques of Trump with a grain of salt.

“I think most people attribute it to his guttural dislike of the president,” the senator said.