Summary List PlacementPresident Donald Trump on Saturday blasted Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse in a series of tweets, likely in response to leaked audio from this past week where Sasse criticized Trump during a constituent town hall. Trump swiftly responded to Sasse's attacks, questioning the first-term senator's conservative credentials. "The least effective of our 53 Republican Senators, and a person who truly doesn't have what it takes to be great, is Little Ben Sasse of Nebraska, a State which I have gladly done so much to help," he tweeted. Trump then proceeded to call Sasse a "RINO," or Republican in name only, a pejorative generally reserved for members of the party who aren't considered to be true conservatives or who vote too often with Democrats. "Sen. Sasse was as nice as a RINO can be until he recently won the Republican nomination to run for a second term," Trump continued. "Then he went back to his rather stupid and obnoxious ways...Little Ben is a liability to the Republican Party, and an embarrassment to the Great State of Nebraska. Other than that, he's just a wonderful guy!"
...Nomination to run for a second term. Then he went back to his rather stupid and obnoxious ways. Must feel he can’t lose to a Dem. Little Ben is a liability to the Republican Party, and an embarrassment to the Great State of Nebraska. Other than that, he’s just a wonderful guy! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2020
In the nine-minute recording, which was leaked and first reported by the Washington Examiner, Sasse vented about his lukewarm support of Trump, reportedly saying that the president "kisses dictators' butts." He was also concerned about the party losing control of the upper chamber. "I'm now looking at the possibility of a Republican blood bath in the Senate, and that's why I've never been on the Trump train," Sasse reportedly said during the call. "It's why I didn't agree to be on his re-election committee, and it's why I'm not campaigning for him...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." James Wegmann, a Sasse spokesman, released a statement in response to Trump's tweets, saying that the senator has expressed the same concerns in the call as he has done privately with the president. "Ben is focused on defending the Republican Senate majority, and he's not going to waste a single minute on tweets," he said. In November, Sasse is expected to cruise to reelection over Democrat Chris Janicek in deeply Republican Nebraska.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: What it takes to become a backup dancer for Beyoncé
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