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  1. ITV Report

Mitt Romney attacks 'phoney' Donald Trump as the Republican establishment strikes back

A former Republican presidential nominee has delivered a scathing verbal attack on "phoney" Donald Trump - despite receiving an endorsement from the billionaire for his own campaign in 2012.

Watch ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore's report below:

Mitt Romney made his rebuke in Utah at the Hinckley Institute of Politics Forum on the state of the 2016 presidential race.

He called Trump a "phoney" and a "fraud" making "worthless" promises. "A business genius he is not," Romney said.

"Donald Trump says he admires Vladimir Putin, while has called George W. Bush a liar," Mr Romney told the audience. "That is a twisted example of evil trumping good."

Only Cruz, Rubio and Kasich have "serious policy proposals" to address the "broad range" of national challenges, his speech said; "One of these people should be our nominee."

"His domestic policies would lead to recession. His foreign policies would make America and the world less safe," Romney said.

He has neither the temperament nor the judgement to be president.

And his personal qualities would mean that America would cease to be a shining city on a hill.

– Mitt Romney

"He's playing the American public for suckers. He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat," Romney also said.

ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore called the attack "The Establishment's revenge" - a reference to the bloody nose Mr Trump has given the more traditional Republican candidates throughout his campaign.

The repudiation of Trump — who endorsed Romney's 2012 run — will be the latest in a growing anti-Trump movement among some Conservatives, according to NBC News.

Reacting to the attack speech, Donald Trump used a rally in Portland, Maine to dismiss Mitt Romney as "irrelevant".

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