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Utah’s Orrin Hatch honored as longest-serving GOP senator

February 11, 2017 GMT
FILE - This April 23, 2016, file photo, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, speaks during the Utah Republican Party 2016 convention, in Salt Lake City. After 40 years, one month and six days, Utah's Orrin Hatch has been honored as the longest-serving senator in U.S. history. As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell marked the milestone for colleagues on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, he noted that it doesn't appear Hatch is slowing down anytime soon. The 82-year-old Hatch surpassed the late Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska for longevity. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
FILE - This April 23, 2016, file photo, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, speaks during the Utah Republican Party 2016 convention, in Salt Lake City. After 40 years, one month and six days, Utah's Orrin Hatch has been honored as the longest-serving senator in U.S. history. As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell marked the milestone for colleagues on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, he noted that it doesn't appear Hatch is slowing down anytime soon. The 82-year-old Hatch surpassed the late Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska for longevity. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — After 40 years, one month and six days, Utah’s Orrin Hatch has been honored as the longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history.

The 82-year-old Hatch surpassed the late Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska on Thursday for longevity.

As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell marked the milestone for colleagues, he noted that it doesn’t appear Hatch is slowing down anytime soon.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/2kblUn5 ) that Hatch thanked Senate leaders for marking the occasion, then quickly called for support for President Donald Trump.

The Utah Republican is Senate president pro tempore.

He says Democrats should give Trump leeway as a non-politician to pull the country out of what Hatch called a stinking mess.

Hatch says the president isn’t perfect, but added that, “neither will any of us ever be perfect”

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This story has been corrected to show that Hatch is the country’s longest-serving Republican senator, not the longest-serving senator.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com