When U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse considers the outcome of the November election, he says he is staring at a "blue tsunami" and that President Donald Trump's "likely" loss might cost the GOP its Senate majority, too.
The frank comments from the Republican Nebraska senator came in a constituent town hall, a recording of which was first published by the Washington Examiner.
Despite working hard to "develop a good working relationship with the president," Sasse called Trump's behavior "deficient, not just for a Republican, but for an American."
Responding to a question from a woman about why he's so critical of President Trump, Sasse ticked off the following in short order:
- "The way he kisses dictators' butts."
- "He hasn't lifted a finger on behalf of the Hong Kongers."
- "The United States now regularly sells out our allies under his leadership."
- "The way he treats women and spends like a drunken sailor."
- "He mocks evangelicals behind closed doors."
- "His family has treated the presidency like a business opportunity."
- "He's flirted with white supremacists."
Sasse also blasted Trump's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying he treated it more like a public relations crisis than a "multi-year public health crisis, which it is."
But beyond the president's performance, Sasse worries about lasting damage to Republicans by Trump.
In the call, Sasse speculated that Trump is driving the U.S. "further to the left," saying he won the 2016 election not because of his credentials but because "Hillary Clinton was literally the most unpopular candidate in the history of polling."
Sasse didn't apologize for his positions on the call, and his Senate office confirmed its authenticity.
Shortly after the comments went public, Nebraska Democrats published a response.
"Ben Sasse, who has all but stood silent during Trump's reckless time in office, is now distancing himself from the president," Jane Kleeb said in a statement. "Saying these words now, when it seems safe for Sasse, will not erase the years Sasse was complicit in the horrendous behavior and actions of Trump."