Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on Thursday stood by her criticism of her uncle -- incoming Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah -- for his attack on President Trump, urging party unity and saying he should focus his fire on Democrats instead.
“As a party we need to come together if we’re going to be successful because we’re up against unprecedented odds and this juggernaut of negative Democrat and media attention,” she said in an interview with "Fox & Friends."
Romney said Trump should be bringing the country together, and demonstrate "the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect."
This sparked a response from McDaniel, who called Romney’s op-ed “disappointing and unproductive.”
"POTUS is attacked and obstructed by the MSM media and Democrats 24/7. For an incoming Republican freshman senator to attack @realdonaldtrump as their first act feeds into what the Democrats and media want and is disappointing and unproductive," she tweeted.
On Thursday, she dismissed the idea that the two were fighting, saying that Romney had called her on New Year's Day (while she was at the movies, seeing “Aquaman”) to give her a heads-up about the op-ed -- and that she would have treated any other incoming senator the same way.
“I love my uncle and my tweet yesterday had nothing to do with family, I would have done this to any freshman incoming senator and I’d say ‘Hey, let's focus on the real issues here which are the Democrats who are proposing dangerous policies for our country and let’s remind Americans of the good things that are coming out of the administration,'” she said.
Trump also responded to the Post op-ed on Wednesday during a Cabinet meeting: “I wish Mitt could be more of a team player. I am surprised he did it this quickly. If he fought really hard against President Obama like he does against me, he would’ve won the election.”
Romney, for his part, continued to criticize Trump on Wednesday evening, telling CNN: “A leader has an impact, not just on policies but also on the character of the people who get to watch the person and I think in that scenario the president needs to focus more attention and hopefully make some changes there."
Since she has taken Romney to task, McDaniel said her uncle had gotten in touch and made sure she knew it was all water under the bridge.
"He said ‘you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.’ He understands,” she said.
Fox News' Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.