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Trump fires back at Sasse after town hall criticism

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, anxious that a "blue tsunami" could wipe out the Republican senate majority, laid into President Trump this week, calling him a narcissist who kisses dictators' butts and sells out the US' allies.

In an emailed response, the executive director for the Nebraska GOP, Ryan Hamilton, says he disagrees with Sasse, and they still endorse Trump and Senator Sasse.

Sasse then shifted to what he characterized as Trump's failure in leadership with the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed the lives of more than 215,000 Americans, saying Trump treated it like a "PR crisis rather than a multi-year public health challenge". Sasse's response initially talked about common ground he shared with Trump, but he soon started slamming him, saying Trump badmouths evangelicals when they're not around, has botched the COVID-19 response, treats women badly, "kisses dictators' butts", throws around money like "a drunken sailor", "sells out our allies", and has "flirted with white supremacists".

But he said he's had disagreements with Trump that do not involve "mere policy issues", adding, "I'm not at all apologetic for having fought for my values against his in places where I think his are deficient, not just for a Republican but for an American". "I mean, the way he ignores that the Uighurs are in literal concentration camps in Xinjiang right now".

Trump's comments come after Sasse harshly criticized Trump in a telephone conference call with constituents on Wednesday, according to audio obtained by the Washington Examiner. "He hasn't lifted a finger on behalf of the Hong-Kongers", Sasse said. His family has treated the presidency like a business opportunity.

Sasse has primarily stood with Republican colleagues who have largely avoided publicly challenging President Trump since he took office - a trend that's changed in recent weeks as a Republican defeat for the White House seems increasingly likely. The ways I criticize President Obama for that kind of spending; I've criticized President Trump for as well.

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Trump continued to attack Sasse with more tweets Saturday afternoon, warning that the Nebraskan was on an "inglorious path" and suggesting that Republican voters "perhaps" give him the boot.

Trump "mocks evangelicals behind closed doors", he added. "He's flirted with white supremacists". Ben Sasse after the Nebraska senator's comments on a call about him were leaked.

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The remarks from Sasse put distance between him and Trump, even as he towed a party line in backing up Judge Amy Coney Barrett at Judiciary Committee hearings.

He also hit Trump for "stupid political obsessions" that could harm the 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'.



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