Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) has been a critic of Mr. Trump’s for a while now. Just a few days ago, he admitted he “regularly” considers leaving the GOP. Sasse tweeted:
‘I fear we’re headed toward a place where hefty majorities of both sides of the electorate are going to regularly embrace unsupported and blatantly false assertions. ‘
On Wednesday, he spoke with CNN about an ethics reform package he intends to introduce in the Senate on Thursday. The bill would require presidential and vice presidential candidates to release their tax returns. Sasse said that Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns breaks with a longstanding tradition.
‘There are things about the tax returns provision [of the bill] that have been a norm of American politics for decades. It’s never been a law but everybody has always done it. This is the first time it hasn’t happened.’
He went on to say:
‘The president’s said he would release them once he got the nomination, and then once he got elected. I think there’s a lot of distrust. We should release them.’
Sasse’s five-part ethics bill will be aimed at “draining the swamp.”
In addition, the bill would ban cabinet members and their spouses from soliciting foreign donations, which seems to be a swipe at the Clinton Foundation for accepting millions of dollars from foreign governments while Hillary Clinton was secretary of State.
Sasse, who frequently criticizes both Republicans and Democrats, said:
‘There are five different bills I’m going introduce tomorrow and I think a lot of them are going to make everybody mad.’
CNN host Jake Tapper told Sasse that although the bill is much needed, it is unlikely to pass. He asked:
‘What member of Congress is going to vote for that?’
‘If what I’m talking about here is really that strange in Washington, D.C., then Washington, D.C., is even further removed from the public than we think.’
It is clear that Sasse is not concerned with maintaining the GOP status quo or towing the party line like a lost sheep. He said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” last week:
‘I’m the second or third most conservative person in the Senate by voting record and I don’t hide any of that. But, most of what I care about isn’t stuff that we’re actually debating in the Congress. So, I’m not really that interested in incumbency.’
Several politicians have left the GOP at both local and national levels. According to Newsweek:
‘Steve Schmidt, longtime GOP strategist and former campaign manager of John McCain’s 2008 presidential bid, left the party in June. Calling the modern-day Republican Party a “danger to our democracy and values,” Schmidt said the party had become corrupt, indecent and immoral, adding that it’s filled with “feckless cowards who disgrace and dishonor the legacies of the party’s greatest leaders.”’
Schmidt announced his decision to leave the GOP via Twitter:
For those who have an ounce of integrity, the trend to leave the party seems to be slowly catching on. Local officials in Oregon, California, and Connecticut have all the left the party within the last few months.
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