Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) has been one of the rare GOP critics of President Donald Trump, but in a campaign phone call with constituents, Sasse unleashed a withering takedown of Trump made even more cutting because it’s all true.
Included in the torrent was the nugget that the President regularly mocks evangelicals behind closed doors while pandering to the religious right to win their votes. Trump has said Christians believe “bullshit” peddled by televangelists and rightwing activists.
During the call, Sasse was asked by a constituent why he was so hard on the President.
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“The way he kisses dictators’ butts. I mean, the way he ignores the Uighurs, literal concentration camps in Xinjiang. Right now, he hasn’t lifted a finger on behalf of the Hong-Kongers,” Sasse said.
“The United States now regularly sells out our allies under his leadership; the way he treats women; spends like a drunken sailor,” Sasse continued. “The ways I criticize 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.”
During the lead-up to the election, then-candidate Trump held a meeting at Trump Tower with evangelical leaders who wanted to bless his campaign. They “laid hands” on the president, physically touching him while praying in a blessing that serves as part of their religious beliefs.
“Can you believe that bullshit?” Trump asked Cohen after the group left according to Cohen’s new book. “Can you believe people believe that bullshit?”
“I always assumed he was an atheist,” Barbara Res, a former executive at the Trump Organization, told Atlantic reporter McKay Coppins.
“He’s not a religious guy,” A.J. Delgado, who worked on his 2016 campaign, added.
In one encounter, Trump delighted in mega-church pastor Creflo Dollar’s quest to “scam” $60 million from his followers to buy a private jet.
“They’re all hustlers,” Trump said, adding that Dollar was “full of shit.”
During an interview with a North Dakota radio station, Eric Trump started rattling off a list of his father’s accomplishments in office, when he hit on the topic of religion. It ranked in between the Second Amendment and peace in the Middle East.
“He’s literally saved Christianity,” Trump claimed. “I mean, there’s a full-out war on faith in this country from the other side. I mean, the Democratic party, the far-left has become the party of the quote-unquote atheists. They wanna attack Christianity. They wanna close churches.”