Republican Sen. Ben Sasse unleashed on Donald Trump during a telephone town hall event with constituents, blasting the president as a "TV-obsessed, narcissistic individual" and predicting a potential wipeout for the GOP in November.
As NBC News reported, the Nebraska senator laid into Trump after a constituent asked about his relationship with the president and his open criticism of him in the past. In an audio clip later posted online, Sasse could be heard criticizing Trump for what he called "deficient" values both as a Republican and an American. That included what he saw as a failure to more forcefully speak out against human rights abuses from China.
"The way he kisses dictators' butts. I mean, the way he ignores that the Uighurs are in literal concentration camps in Xinjiang right now," he said. "He hasn't lifted a finger on behalf of the Hong Kongers."
Sasse's criticism was personal as well, noting that Trump is accused of mocking evangelical Christians behind closed doors and flirting with white supremacists.
"The United States now regularly sells out our allies under his leadership, the way he treats women, spends like a drunken sailor," he said, adding that he believes Trump is driving the country further to the left and has put the GOP in danger of losing both the White House and control of the U.S. Senate.
Sasse said he feared what would happen if Democrats controlled the upper house of Congress, warning that the United States could look like Venezuela and that Joe Biden could pack the Supreme Court. But he laid the blame solely on Trump and those who supported him while knowing his deficiencies as a politician and man of character.
"The debate is not going to be, 'Ben Sasse, why were you so mean to Donald Trump?'" Sasse said. "It's going to be, 'What the heck were any of us thinking, that selling a TV-obsessed, narcissistic individual to the American people was a good idea?'"
Sasse has long been a critic of Trump, dating back to the 2016 election when the Nebraska Republican said he was considering casting a vote for the Libertarian Party rather than backing the real estate mogul and star of The Apprentice. During that campaign, he led an effort to block him from securing the party's nomination. Unlike a number of critics who have since returned to the party line and supported him as president -- notably fellow Sens. Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham -- Sasse has remained critical of Trump at times.