Mia Love hits Trump for ‘transactional’ approach to freeing American held hostage in Venezuela

Posted at 4:12 PM, Nov 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-26 18:12:22-05

Republican Rep. Mia Love on Monday hit President Donald Trump over his “transactional” approach to political relationships, including her work with him to bring home Joshua Holt, an American who had been held as a prisoner in Venezuela since 2016.

“It reminded me of the problem that we as Republicans have in terms of making sure that we’re not transactional with people, that we actually build relationships,’ Love told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead with Jake Tapper” when asked about Trump’s repeated attacks on her following her defeat.

“This is not just about politics as usual. We need to turn it around and make it personal because it’s certainly personal for all of the people that we represent,” she continued. “So I can’t wait to actually get out there and talk about how we could be doing better.”

Earlier Monday, Love conceded to Democrat Ben McAdams in their Utah congressional race. Trump attacked Love the day after election day — before the race had been called for McAdams — emphasizing that she had called him “all the time” to ask for help in bringing Holt home, but didn’t embrace him as a campaigner.

“Mia Love gave me no love and she lost,” he said. “Too bad. Sorry about that, Mia.”

Love said Monday that she had “no regrets” about working with Trump to bring Holt home because “that is my job.”

“I know what my job is. And I have to tell you that I have no regrets,” Love said. “I have no regrets because Joshua’s home. I think every American out there should know that not just their President, but their representative also will not forget them, will not leave them abandoned. And that is — that is my job.”

Holt was released by Venezuela in May after he was arrested there in June 2016. He was accused by the Venezuelan government of attempting to destabilize the government and stockpiling weapons, according to The Washington Post. Holt was held for almost two years without standing trial.

“I wasn’t looking for a thank you from the Holt family. I was doing what I felt I would want a representative to do if that were my child. And you see, that’s the difference there. I think that we could do a lot better if we honestly take people and take them into our hearts and make it personal,” Love continued.

Love addressed Trump directly during her concession speech in Salt Lake City earlier Monday, saying the two will “have to chat.”

“The President’s behavior towards me made me wonder: What did he have to gain by saying such a thing about a fellow Republican,” Love said. “It was not really about asking him to do more, was it? Or was it something else? Well Mr. President, we’ll have to chat about that.”