Sen.-elect Mitt Romney hits orientation in Washington, D.C., and gets a (temporary) basement office

Washington • Sen.-elect Mitt Romney joined his fellow incoming senators at the Capitol on Tuesday, starting his transition into office beginning with his assignment of temporary working space tucked into the basement.

Romney, a Utah Republican who will succeed Sen. Orrin Hatch come January, visited Washington for the first time since the election and found a nameplate emblazoned with “Senator-elect Mitt Romney” below the seal of the state of Utah. He’ll work from this space until offices are doled out to the new Senate class.

“This is an orientation day, and I’m getting orientated,” Romney told MSNBC during a brief hallway interview, noting that he’d met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. He brushed aside a question about whether acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker should recuse himself from supervising special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation because of his previous comments about the probe.

“That’s really a very important question," Romney said, “and I’m sure I’ll get a chance to talk to you about that. Not yet.”

The day after last week’s election, Romney tweeted that the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions should not derail or obstruct the Mueller investigation.

The incoming Utah senator met with fellow newbies and began learning about hiring staff and running a legislative office. Romney has yet to announce any staff hires.