Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse slammed President Donald Trump to constituents this week, saying he "kisses dictators' butts" and has "flirted with white supremacists." When asked about his relationship with the president, the Republican senator went in on Trump during a campaign town hall telephone call that went to about 17,000 Nebraskans, USA Today reports. Sasse's office told the outlet that the audio, first reported by the Washington Examiner, was legitimate.
"The way he kisses dictators' butts. I mean, the way he ignores that the Uyghurs are in literal concentration camps in Xinjiang right now. He hasn't lifted a finger on behalf of the Hong Kongers," Sasse said. He added, "The United States now regularly sells out our allies under his leadership. The way he treats women and spends like a drunken sailor. The ways I criticized 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 condemned Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 217,000 Americans. "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," Sasse said. "So, I don't think the way he's led through COVID has been reasonable or responsible or right."
Continuing that he disagreed with the president on policy issues and questions of credentials, Sasse said he fears Trump will drive the country further left, which is why he "campaigned for everybody not named Trump in 2016." With the election just weeks away, Sasse told his constituents their vote is more important than ever. "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, the debate is not going to be, you know, 'Ben Sasse, why were you so mean to Donald Trump?'" the senator said. "It's going to be, 'What the heck were any of us thinking that selling a TV-obsessed narcissistic individual to the American people was a good idea?' It is not a good idea."