Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) was interviewed on Friday by conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. During the interview, the Republican senator was asked about his assessment of Donald Trump’s behavior and culpability as his supporters rioted in Washington D.C.
Sasse said that the mob was “incited by the President of the United States,” adding that Trump is “addicted to division.”
“This is a deep brokenness in his soul. … Donald Trump is a guy who hurts. And I hurt for him at an anthropological and a human level, but at a level of his oath of office to the Constitution, the duty of the president of the United States is to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution,” Sasse said. “And the President is addicted to social media and to television, and to division, and he’s been lying to the American people for eight straight weeks and planned it long before. No matter what was happening in any state, he was going to say the election was being stolen, and the people needed to rise up.”
Sasse stressed the fact that Trump “said repeatedly to ‘go wild’ when you get to the Capitol” during a Wednesday morning address to his supporters.
“I think Donald Trump wanted there to be massive divisions, and he was telling people there was a path by which he was going to stay in office after January 20th,” he said. “That was never true. And he wanted chaos on television. I don’t have any idea what was in his heart about what he wanted to happen once they were in the Capitol, but he wanted there to be chaos, and I’m sure you’ve also had conversations with other senior White House officials, as I have.”
According to Sasse, Trump was actually excited to see his supporter storm the U.S. Capitol.
He claimed that as Trump was watching his supporters storm the Capitol, he “was walking around the White House confused about why other people on his team weren’t as excited as he was as you had rioters pushing against Capitol Police trying to get into the building.”
“That was happening. He was delighted,” the Republican senator said.