U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch reaffirmed his support for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Monday in Provo. 

While addressing the Utah County Republican Women, the Utah Republican and president pro tempore of the U.S. Senate said that he thinks Trump has his faults, and was not his first choice to be the Republican nominee. But Hatch stressed that keeping a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate would keep the non-traditional candidate in line with the Republican Party's values. 

"You've got to make sure you have someone like Orrin Hatch to ensure a President Trump toes the line," Hatch said.  

Hatch also spoke at length about the importance of electing a president who will appoint conservative Supreme Court justices, as well as justices in lower courts, which he described as being the most important issue of this presidential election.

"I know who Hillary is. I know what she stands for. I know what she's going to do to the country," Hatch said. "We don't all know what Donald Trump is going to do. But we know one thing: he says the right things, and that's why we have to have a strong Congress too, to make sure that he does do what's right."

Though Trump has been an unpopular candidate in the traditionally red state of Utah — multiple polls show him hanging on to a small lead of just a couple of percentage points over unaffiliated candidate Evan McMullin — Hatch emphasized a U.S. Senate majority would encourage Trump to continue representing conservative values.

McMullin appears to have drawn away many votes from Trump after a video surfaced in which Trump made lewd comments about women. McMullin — who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as is the majority of the population in Utah — appeals to many who find themselves unwilling to vote for either Trump or Clinton. 

Though Hatch described McMullin as "sincere," he said he thought voting for any third-party candidate was a vote directly for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. 

"It can only be one of two people elected president," Hatch said. "And that's Hillary or Donald. Frankly, as much as some folks would love to vote for Evan — in a way I'd like to vote for Evan — but I'm not going to throw my vote away, because that's what you're doing."

Hatch said that as the campaign has gone on, he's seen Trump mature more in the things he says, and that in behind-the-scenes meetings, Trump has shown that he advocates for conservative, free-market principles. 

With the election one week away, Hatch said he will do everything in his power in the time remaining to help Trump get elected. 

Katie England covers politics, county government and southern Utah County for the Daily Herald. She can be reached at 801-344-2599 or kengland@heraldextra.com.

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