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‘Never Trump’ Ben Sasse ‘Regularly’ Considers Leaving Republican Party

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JOSHUA CAPLAN

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), one of the Republican Party’s staunchest critics of President Donald Trump and his American First agenda, revealed Saturday that he repeatedly thinks about becoming an Independent.

Responding on Saturday to a tweet by a user declaring they had left the Democrat Party to become a “no-party” voter, Sasse replied: “yep — regularly consider it,” adding “(except the “from Dem” part).”

Of course, this is far from the first time Sasse has vocalized his displeasure with the Republican Party or President Trump.

Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday, the Nebraska lawmaker attacked the president for criticizing the Justice Department for bringing criminal charges against two Republican congressmen, describing his remarks as “really dangerous stuff.”

“A lot of times people say – and Twitter is swallowing so much of our news – people say, ‘oh well this or that is just talk.’ Well actually, why you want talk and why you want debate is because those norms are what keep us from violence,” he said. “So the things that the president said on Sunday attacking the Justice Department and asking for politicized justice, that’s really, really dangerous stuff, because in our country we believe justice is blind.”

In a Senate floor speech last month, Sasse threatened the president with refusing to vote for the next Justice Department chief if Attorney General Jeff Sessions is fired for, as the Never Trumper put it, not being a “hack.”

“I’m not sure how to interpret the comments of the last couple of hours but I guess I would just like to say, as a member of the Judiciary Committee and as a member of this body, I find it really difficult to envision any circumstance where I would vote to confirm a successor to Jeff Sessions if he is fired because he’s executing his job rather than choosing to act as a partisan hack,” Sasse said.

The Nebraska lawmaker has been especially critical of President Trump’s efforts to counter China’s unfair trade practices with tariffs, a policy he argues will kill copious American jobs.

Despite being hostile towards President Trump, Sasse claims the two get along well. “The reality is, I have a surprisingly good relationship with the President because I actually wrestle with him. I don’t just go there and kiss the ring,” Sasse told CNN in March. “We have arguments but I almost always talk to him in private before I criticize him in public.”

Sasse infamously took to Facebook to call on a conservative figure to challenge Donald Trump, the presumed Republican presidential nominee at this time. “Why shouldn’t America draft an honest leader?” Sasse wrote. “You know … an adult?”

His remarks drew ire from Nebraska Republican bigwigs, including his colleague Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE)

“I don’t agree with his strategy,” Fischer said of Sasse’s Facebook post. “I’m not going to hand this election to Hillary Clinton.”

Reacting to the open letter, the candidate Trump chided Sasse for his “gym rat,” appearance. “.@BenSasse looks more like a gym rat than a U.S. Senator. How the hell did he ever get elected?” he wrote.

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