Trump claims Sanford remarks booed by lawmakers were well-received

Trump claims Sanford remarks booed by lawmakers were well-received
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's top adviser on Asia to serve as deputy national security adviser United Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Trump doubles down on call to investigate Biden after whistleblower complaint: 'That's the real story' MORE on Wednesday claimed his most recent attacks on Rep. Mark SanfordMarshall (Mark) Clement SanfordAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Trump challenger Bill Weld: 'My goal is to win' The Hill's Morning Report - Pompeo condemns Iran for 'act of war' while Trump moves with caution MORE (R-S.C.) at a closed-door meeting with Sanford's colleagues were well received, despite multiple lawmakers saying they were greeted with grumbles and boos.

"Had a great meeting with the House GOP last night at the Capitol. They applauded and laughed loudly when I mentioned my experience with Mark Sanford. I have never been a fan of his!" Trump tweeted.

At the Tuesday night meeting on immigration, Trump asked if Sanford was in attendance before calling him a "nasty guy."

ADVERTISEMENT

The comments were met with boos and and grumbles, according to sources in the room.

“I was very upset. It was very unnecessary and as far as I’m concerned, it was very rude,” Rep. Walter JonesWalter Beaman JonesRepublican Greg Murphy wins special election in NC's 3rd District Early voting extended in NC counties impacted by Dorian ahead of key House race The Hill's Campaign Report: North Carolina special election poses test for GOP ahead of 2020 MORE (R-N.C.) said. “To make light of Mark Sanford is very unacceptable."

Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashThe Hill's Morning Report - Pompeo condemns Iran for 'act of war' while Trump moves with caution Trump's 'soldier of fortune' foreign policy Amash: 'Bolton never should have been hired' MORE (R-Mich.) called Trump's barb a "classless cheap shot" in a tweet after the meeting.

On Wednesday, Amash disputed Trump's account of the meeting, saying "nobody applauded or laughed."

And GOP Rep. Ryan CostelloRyan Anthony CostellloHead of Pennsylvania GOP resigns over alleged explicit texts Lobbying world Overnight Energy: Park Service closing Joshua Tree after shutdown damage | Dems deliver trash from parks to White House | Dems offer bills to block offshore drilling | Oil lobby worries about Trump trade fight MORE (Pa.) called Trump's claim "categorically false."

Sanford, who lost his primary race last week after intervention by Trump favoring his opponent, was not at the meeting because his flight to Washington, D.C., was delayed. 

Sanford appeared on CNN moments after the president’s tweet. He said he believes Trump’s comments during Tuesday’s meeting were meant to warn other Republicans against opposing the president.

“I think part of what the president did yesterday was to send a very chilling message to my colleagues on, ‘hey, if you speak up against me, there will be consequences,’” Sanford said. “And I think that’s the last thing we need in our political system.”

Sanford added that he’s heard from several fellow lawmakers since the meeting.

“I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of colleagues who have come up and said awfully kind things,” he said.

Sanford has been an outspoken critic of the president's rhetoric, but largely supports the administration's policies.

Trump had endorsed Sanford's primary opponent hours before polls closed, saying the South Carolina representative has been "very unhelpful to me in my campaign to [Make America Great Again] MAGA."