GOP rep refutes Trump's account of Sanford attacks: 'People were disgusted'

GOP rep refutes Trump's account of Sanford attacks: 'People were disgusted'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashTrump allies assail impeachment on process while House Democrats promise open hearings soon Hoyer: We are going to move as fast 'as the facts and truth dictate' on open hearings Conway spars with Wallace on whether White House will cooperate with impeachment inquiry after formal vote MORE (R-Mich.) on Wednesday disputed President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Official testifies that Bolton had 'one-on-one meeting' with Trump over Ukraine aid Louisiana governor wins re-election MORE's claim that GOP lawmakers approved of his attacks on Rep. Mark SanfordMark SanfordThe Hill's Campaign Report: Late bids surprise 2020 Democratic field Michigan GOP attempting to have Trump be only Republican candidate on ballot Weld files to run in GOP presidential primary in New Hampshire MORE (R-S.C.) during a closed-door meeting on immigration Tuesday night.

The president tweeted Wednesday afternoon that House Republicans "applauded and laughed loudly" when he called Sanford a "nasty guy."

"House Republicans had front row seats to @POTUS’s dazzling display of pettiness and insecurity. Nobody applauded or laughed. People were disgusted," Amash tweeted in response.

During the meeting, Trump asked if Sanford was in attendance before taking a shot at him — Sanford was not present because his flight to Washington, D.C., was delayed.

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

Amash called the remarks a "classless cheap shot," tweeting on Wednesday that people in the meeting "were disgusted." 

“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."

Sanford appeared on CNN shortly after Trump tweeted, saying he thought that Trump's comments at the Tuesday meeting were meant to caution other GOP lawmakers 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 system.”

The outgoing congressman said he'd heard an outpouring of "awfully kind things" from fellow lawmakers.

Sanford, who lost his primary race last week after intervention by Trump for his opponent, has been an outspoken critic of the president's rhetoric, but has largely supported the administration's policies.

Trump previously 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]."