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Trump responds to Nebraska Sen. Sasse criticism over COVID-19 response, foreign policy

The president tweeted Saturday calling the senator 'Little Ben Sasse of Nebraska,' after Sasse said on a telephone town hall that Trump 'kisses dictators’ butts.'

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — President Donald Trump fired back at fellow-Republican U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse on Saturday after Sasse said Wednesday in a telephone town hall that the president “flirted with white supremacists,” and mocks Christian evangelicals in private.

The Nebraska lawmaker also said that Trump “kisses dictators' butts.”

On Saturday, Trump, in typical fashion, went on Twitter to respond to Sasse's criticism of his administration's COVID-19 response and foreign policy by calling him "Little Ben Sasse of Nebraska."

In a pair of tweets, the president wrote that Sasse is, "The least effective of our 53 Republican Senators, and a person who truly doesn’t have what it takes to be great."

Sasse is running for a second term in Nebraska, which is a state that holds steady to its Republican voting habits. Sasse said during the Wednesday telephone town hall that Trump has treated the presidency “like a business opportunity.” 

U.S. Rep. Adrian Smith of Nebraska, who is also a Republican, said that “Senator Sasse is entitled to his own opinion.” 

Smith said, “I appreciate what President Trump has accomplished for our country and will continue to work with him on efforts which help Nebraska.” 

In the Saturday tweets, Trump wrote, "Little Ben is a liability to the Republican Party, and an embarrassment to the Great State of Nebraska. Other than that, he’s just a wonderful guy!"

Sasse has seemed to frame his campaign as a conservative willing to call out Trump, and the Republican senator is seen as a potential presidential candidate for 2024.  

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Credit: AP
Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., Washington, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)