In a conference call with constituents this week -- audio obtained by The Washington Examiner -- Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) states he has "never been on the Trump train" and that he is "not campaigning" for President Trump in this election. He further says it is a bad idea for Republicans to sell a "TV-obsessed, narcissistic individual to the American people."
During the telephone conference call, a female constituent asks Sasse, "Why do you have to criticize him [Trump] so much?"
Sasse, at first, explains that he and his family always pray for the president and wish him the best in his endeavors. He also praises Trump for nominating "truly great judges" who follow the Constitution.
However, he then slams the president for "the way he kisses dictators’ butts. I mean, the way he ignores the Uighurs, our literal concentration camps in Xinjiang. Right now, he hasn’t lifted a finger on behalf of the Hong-Kongers."
“The United States now regularly sells out our allies under his leadership," says Sasse. "The way he treats women, spends like a drunken sailor. The way I criticize President Obama for that kind of spending, I’ve criticized President Trump for as well."
"He mocks evangelicals behind closed doors," claims the senator, without providing evidence. "His family has treated the presidency like a business opportunity. He’s flirted with white supremacists.”
"At the beginning of the COVID crisis he refused to treat it seriously for months," said Sasse. "He treated it like a news cycle by news cycle PR crisis rather than a multi-year public health challenge, which is what it is."
“In his partial defense here, I think that lots of the news media has pretended that COVID is literally the first public health crisis ever," said the senator. "And somehow, it's Donald Trump's fault. That's not true. They just wanted to use it against him."
"But the reality is that he careened from curb to curb," said Sasse. "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. I mean, and so I don't think the way he's led through COVID has been reasonable or responsible, or right.”
Sasse went to say that he believes Trump won in 2016 not because Americans wanted more "reality TV around the clock, stupid political obsessions," but because "Hillary Clinton literally was the most unpopular candidate in the history of polling. ... Hillary Clinton, by far the worst presidential candidate America has ever had."
"I think that's why President Trump won," said Sasse.
"From where I sit, as one of the most conservative guys in the U.S. Senate, I'm now looking at the possibility of a Republican bloodbath in the Senate, and that's why I've never been on the Trump train," said Sasse.
"That's why I didn't agree to serve on his reelection committee and that's why I'm not campaigning for him," added the senator.
Sasse then predicted that if Republicans lose the Senate, all of the hare-brained schemes of socialist Democrats could come to pass, including packing the Supreme Court and destroying the deliberative structure of the Senate.
People will look back and ask, "what the heck were any of us thinking that selling a TV-obsessed, narcissistic individual to the American people was a good idea?" said Sasse. "It is not a good idea."
In 2016, Sasse told MSNBC's Morning Joe that he would not support Donald Trump and added, "I don't think this guy has any more core principles than a Kardashian marriage."
He also said Trump is a "fundamentally dishonest New York liberal."
"He's not a serious adult," said Sasse. "He's not someone who celebrates America."
If the GOP becomes the "party of David Duke, Donald Trump, I'm out," said Sasse.
Duke is a white supremacist and former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Trump has frequently denounced the KKK and Duke.