Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, many prominent Republican lawmakers voiced opposition to then-candidate Donald Trump and his controversial, longshot campaign.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said the Republican party would be "destroyed" and "deserve it" if they nominated Trump. Then-South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley decried Trump's failure to reject the endorsement of KKK leader David Duke.
In the four years since Trump's inauguration, the vast majority of these Republicans have become Trump's most unwavering allies, constantly contorting to spin his latest controversial remark or bold faced lie.
Republican Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse's fealty to Trump has been less consistent than many of his colleagues. Trump endorsed Sasse in 2019 only to accuse him of going rogue by occasionally criticizing the President.
But when it was most consequential—such as Trump's impeachment trial and the recent Senate Judiciary Hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett—Sasse sided with Trump.
But recently leaked audio released by the Washington Examiner just gave insight into how Sasse really feels about Trump—and it's not pretty.
Listen to Sasse's words in a tele-town hall with constituents below.
RINO Ben Sasse www.youtube.com
Sasse accused Trump of cozying up to dictators:
"I'm not at all apologetic for having fought for my values against his in places where I think his are deficient, not just for a Republican but for an American. So, the way he kisses dictators' butts, the way he ignores that the Uyghurs are in literal concentration camps in Xinjiang right now. He hasn't lifted a finger on behalf of the Hong Kongers. ... It isn't just that he fails to lead our allies, it's that the United States now regularly sells out our allies under his leadership."
His criticisms only got more unequivocal from there:
"The way he treats women and spends like a drunken sailor, the ways I criticized President Obama for that kind of spending, I've criticized President Trump for as well. He mocks evangelicals behind closed doors, his family has treated the presidency like a business opportunity, he's flirted with white supremacists."
He went on to slam Trump's botched handling of the virus that's killed over 200 thousand Americans, saying that Trump treated it "like a news-cycle-by-news-cycle P.R. crisis rather than a multi-year public health challenge, which is what it is."
Sasse's words, however, didn't absolve him to his critics.
With Trump's prospects in November looking grim, some think Sasse is the first of many GOP lawmakers who will begin decrying Donald Trump after enabling him for an entire term.
The Presidential election is on November third, but voting has already begun in at least 40 states.