- In an interview with The Federalist, former President Trump excoriated Sen. Ben Sasse.
- "You know, he's a sleazebag," Trump said.
- "He was like a little boy. He was so well behaved," Trump said of Sasse seeking his endorsement.
Former President Donald Trump recently expressed his disdain for Sen. Ben Sasse, calling the Nebraska Republican a "loser" and a "sleazebag" and saying the senator acted like a "quiet little boy" as he sought Trump's endorsement for re-election in 2020.
Trump made the remarks in an interview with Mollie Hemingway of the Federalist, who's upcoming book "Rigged: How The Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections," is scheduled for an October 12 release.
"Terrible senator. This started right at the beginning," Trump said of Sasse, claiming that the senator was hostile towards the former president during his first meeting with the Senate's Republican caucus. "He's actually stupid, 'cause you know the problem with the Republicans is they don't stick together. You don't have Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse in the Democrat Party."
Trump spoke at length about Sasse, recounting an exchange with Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Ted Cruz of Texas, who were urging Trump to support Sasse's 2020 re-election bid.
"I say, 'Keep him out. Guy's a loser.' So they said, 'No, no, no. He wants to make peace,'" Trump told Hemingway. "He was like a little boy. He was so well behaved. He didn't say a word. And they made a case as to why I should let him back into the fold."
"You've got to see him at that meeting. He was like a quiet little boy who just sat there," Trump continued. "And they did all the talking on his behalf and you know that he couldn't have been better. He didn't say a bad thing about me for two years."
The former president would ultimately endorse Sasse, saving him a potential primary challenge. "So I end up supporting a guy who's a sleazebag. By the way, you can quote me on all this stuff," Trump said.
Reached for comment, Sasse spokesman James Wegmann said of the endorsement story, "Recycled nonsense again? Totally false. We've been clear from day one," while flagging a tweet on the matter from the August 2020.
-Team Sasse (@TeamSasse) August 10, 2020
Trump also remarked on a leaked call between Sasse and donors in October, where the Nebraska senator criticized Trump extensively.
"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 hasn't lifted a finger on behalf of the Hong-Kongers," Sasse reportedly said on the call. "The United States now regularly sells out our allies under his leadership, the way he treats women, spends like a drunken sailor."
"He mocks evangelicals behind closed doors," Sasse continued. "His family has treated the presidency like a business opportunity. He's flirted with white supremacists."
"He was on a phone call to his donors that he essentially leaked to the press. Okay. You know, he's a sleazebag," Trump said of the call.
Trump also hit Sasse for criticizing a planned draw-down of US troops in Germany, alleging that the senator wanted to see more troops die in Afghanistan.
"I want to bring troops out of Germany. You know, some of them, because we've got 54,000 troops in Germany costing us billions of dollars," Trump said. "Germany treats us badly on trade and many other things. And so I'm going to reduce it by 25,000. And I hear Little Ben Sasse is chipping away saying how we shouldn't do it. You know, he wants to stay in Afghanistan, let soldiers stay there and get their faces blown off, and their arms blown off for another 19 years and die."