Sasse tears into the president in recorded comments from an apparent conference call with his constituents, the Washington Examiner reported - accusing him of having "ignored" the coronavirus as it spread through the nation. What may have been unexpected, however, is what the New York Times calls a "dire nine-minute indictment" by the Nebraska senator on the president.
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) blasted President Trump saying he "mistreats women", "kisses dictators' butts" and privately mocks evangelical to constituents in a recording obtained by the Washington Examiner.
Sasse said he criticizes Trump for how he treats women and because Trump "spends like a drunken sailor", saying he criticized Democratic President Barack Obama over spending.
"The way he kisses dictators' butts", Sasse said, listing his reservations about Trump.
In a stinging rebuke of President Trump, Sen.
"He hasn't lifted a finger on behalf of the Hong Kongers", he said.
Sasse first said he has a good working relationship with the president. and complimented his picks on judicial nominations.
"Senator Sasse is entitled to his own opinion", U.S. Rep. Adrian Smith, another Nebraska Republican, said in a statement. "When we disagree, I'll tell Nebraskans what I believe". He mocks evangelicals behind closed doors.
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.
"His family has treated the presidency like a business opportunity", Sasse said.
He also said Trump never treated the COVID-19 crisis seriously, but only as an issue of the news cycle.
Each of these things, Sasse predicted, would have consequences, for Republicans and the nation.
"It's also a.political question about whether or not he's ultimately driving the country further to the left because that's what I think is ultimately going to happen because of Donald Trump", Sasse explained.
Sasse accused Trump of treating "the presidency like a business opportunity" and added that Trump's behavior could turn the Senate over to the Democrats and permanently damage the Republican Party.
What's at stake that Trump may have turned so many people off, including young voters and women, that Republicans could lose the Senate, which would have tremendous consequences.