In Utah, Bannon is willing to put aside his war with McConnell and embrace Hatch if it means blocking Romney, a traditional Republican who has the gravitas to rally considerable opposition to Trump from the Right.
Trump had hours to persuade Hatch to run again while on Air Force One flying back and forth from Washington.
Romney was no friend of Trump's on the campaign trail; in March 2016, he labeled the president "a phony" and "a fraud" whose "promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. I don't know that he knows what he's going to get with Romney, but it's not going to be what he's got with Hatch", Jowers said.
"Whether it's confirming judges, passing tax reform or accomplishing any part of his agenda, Hatch is a key player in getting anything done", Hatch spokesman Matt Whitlock said late Sunday.
But the president's reciprocal strong public support for Hatch is not just a vote of confidence in the Utah senator.
During a tour of the Latter-day Saints Church food services facility in Utah, Trump was asked if he was sending a message to Romney by encouraging Hatch to run for re-election. Yet Hatch, the longest-serving Republican senator in history, is now refusing to rule out another campaign - a circumstance Romney's infuriated inner circle blames squarely on the president.
The president, referring to Romney, replied: "He's a good man". Trump previously said he is doing it for Hatch.
Hatch, the second senator to endorse Trump during the presidential campaign, has said he's running again but has not announced a final decision.
Trump has mostly tried to sway Hatch behind the scenes.
But Hatch is also a fan of Romney's.
There are 1 comment on the Reuters story from 3 hrs ago, titled In slap at Romney, Trump says he wants Orrin Hatch to run for re-election.
Romney has been preparing to run for Hatch's seat on the long-held assumption that the 83-year-old would retire, according to Politico.
A source with knowledge of the matter told ABC News that "while it may be entirely true that Trump dislikes Mitt, if there's anyone who can bridge the divide, it's Orrin". "He never uttered a negatively critical word about Trump", the source said.