Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) attacked President Donald Trump during a call with constituents last week, accusing him of mishandling the coronavirus pandemic, kissing “dictators’ butts,” having “flirted with white supremacists,” among other grievances.

According to the audio clip of the call, obtained by the Washington Examiner, the rant began after a constituent asked Sasse about his relationship with the president and why he has “to criticize him so much.”

Although he began by underscoring where he agrees with the president, Sasse’s nearly 10-minute speech quickly devolved as he lambasted Trump’s response to COVID-19.

“In his partial defense here, I think that lots of the news media has pretended that COVID is literally the first public health crisis ever. And somehow, it’s Donald Trump’s fault. That’s not true. They just wanted to use it against him,” Sasse said. “But the reality is that he careened from curb to curb. First, he ignored COVID. And then he went into full economic shutdown mode. He was the one who said 10 to 14 days of shutdown would fix this. And that was always wrong. I mean, and so I don’t think the way he’s lead through COVID has been reasonable or responsible, or right.”


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Sasse then went on to attack Trump’s approach to foreign policy and “the way he kisses dictators’ butts.”

“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,” he said. “The United States now regularly sells out our allies under his leadership, the way he treats women, spends like a drunken sailor. 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.”

Sasse also expressed concerns that the president’s antics could jeopardize the future of the Republican Party.

“If young people become permanent Democrats because they’ve just been repulsed by the obsessive nature of our politics, or if women who were willing to still vote with the Republican Party in 2016 decide that they need to turn away from this party permanently in the future,” Sasse said. “I’ve spent lots of the, of the last year on a campaign bus, and when you listen to Nebraskans, they don’t really want more rage tweeting as a new form of entertainment.”

After the initial article in the Washington Examiner began gaining traction, Trump responded by attacking Sasse in two tweets.

“Senator Little Ben Sasse of the Great State of Nebraska seems to be heading down the same inglorious path as former Senators Liddle’ Bob Corker, whose approval rating in Tennessee went from 55% to 4%, & Jeff “the Flake” Flake, whose approval rating in Arizona went from 56% to practically nothing,” Trump wrote. “Both Senators became totally unelectable, couldn’t come even close to winning their primaries, and decided to drop out of politics and gracefully “RETIRE”. [Sasse] could be next, or perhaps the Republicans should find a new and more viable candidate?”

Sasse is up for reelection on Nov. 3 and is widely favored to win, with the Cook Political Report and RealClearPolitics both rating the district as “safe” Republican.

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