Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) slammed President Trump in a phone town hall with constituents on Wednesday, warning that Trump’s conduct would be partially to blame for a “Republican bloodbath” in the November elections, the Washington Examiner reported.
Sasse has been a frequent critic of the president, although he toned down his rhetoric during the 2020 Senate primary.
The rift resurfaced during the town hall, in which 17,000 Nebraska residents participated, according to Sasse spokesman James Wegmann. A recording of the nine-minute indictment of Trump was obtained by the Examiner.
“Like a lot of Nebraskans, I am trying to understand your relationship with the president,” a woman said during the phone town hall. “Why do you have to criticize him so much?”
While Sasse initially responded that he had tried to develop a “working relationship” with Trump, the Nebraska senator proceeded to rip into the president’s response to the coronavirus and other policy choices.
“I don’t think the way he’s lead through COVID has been reasonable or responsible, or right,” Sasse said. “For months, he treated it like a news-cycle-by-news-cycle P.R. crisis.”
Sasse also criticized various aspects of Trump’s foreign policy.
“The way he kisses dictators’ butts. I mean, the way he ignores that the Uighurs are in literal concentration camps in Xinjiang. Right now, he hasn’t lifted a finger on behalf of the Hong-Kongers,” the senator said. “The United States now regularly sells out our allies under his leadership, the way he treats women, spends like a drunken sailor.”
Sasse added, “The ways I criticize President Obama for that kind of spending; I’ve criticized President Trump for as well. He mocks evangelicals behind closed doors. His family has treated the presidency like a business opportunity. He’s flirted with white supremacists.”
In terms of the election, Sasse warned that Trump’s “stupid political obsessions” could push voters further to the left.
“I’m now looking at the possibility of a Republican blood bath in the Senate, and that’s why I’ve never been on the Trump train,” Sasse said.
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