Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said Friday that he heard from senior White House officials that President Trump was “delighted” to hear that his supporters were breaking into the Capitol building in a riot Wednesday that turned deadly.
“As this was unfolding on television, Donald Trump 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,” Sasse told conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt in an interview. “That was happening. He was delighted.”
“I’m sure you’ve also had conversations with other senior White House officials, as I have,” Sasse told Hewitt.
The Nebraska Republican, who has at times been more critical of Trump than many of his GOP colleagues, did not name which officials said Trump was delighted.
On Thursday night, more than 24 hours after the attack on the Capitol, Trump condemned the riot in a video message.
When asked by Hewitt if Trump should be removed from office before his term ends on Jan. 20, Sasse said he first wanted to know why the National Guard wasn’t sent in to handle the riot.
At least five people have died as a result of the attack on the Capitol.
Sasse has pushed back on Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of a “rigged” election and widespread voter fraud. He’s also said Trump’s repeated remarks on the matter played a role in sparking Wednesday’s mob violence at the Capitol.