Former Republican nominee Mitt Romney is due to speak about the "the state of the 2016 presidential race" at 11.30am EST on 3 March. The 2012 presidential candidate will give the speech at the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics Forum and is widely expected to voice criticism for Republican nominee Donald Trump.

In a planned speech that has reportedly been leaked to the media, Romney is expected to accuse Trump of "playing the American public for suckers," the BBC reported. A number of media outlets have also predicted that Romney will refer to Trump as a "phony" and a "fraud", while urging the Republicans to reject him as their candidate.

Romney has already been a vocal critic of Trump, often posting on his Twitter account to dismiss the Republican nominee. In a tweet just a few days before his speech at the University of Utah, Romney slammed Trump's stance on the KKK.

The former Republican candidate tweeted: "A disqualifying and disgusting response by [Donald Trump] to the KKK. His coddling of repugnant bigotry is not in the character of America." In response, Trump hit back at Romney in a series of tweets, repeatedly referring to him as a "failed candidate". He also said that Romney had "begged" him for his endorsement during his campaign four years ago.

Trump said: "Looks like two-time failed candidate Mitt Romney is going to be telling Republicans how to get elected. Not a good messenger! Failed candidate Mitt Romney, who ran one of the worst races in presidential history, is working with the establishment to bury a big 'R' win! I am the one who can beat Hilary Clinton. I am not a Mitt Romney, who doesn't know how to win."