President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE on Tuesday endorsed Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseTim Scott to introduce GOP police reform bill next week GOP votes to give Graham broad subpoena power in Obama-era probe Senate GOP shifts on police reform MORE (R-Neb.) for his reelection bid in 2020, sending a message of support for one of his more outspoken Republican critics on Capitol Hill.
“Senator Ben Sasse has done a wonderful job representing the people of Nebraska. He is great with our Vets, the Military, and your very important Second Amendment. Strong on Crime and the Border, Ben has my Complete and Total Endorsement!” Trump tweeted.
Sasse, who officially announced his reelection bid in August, has been one of the few GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill to criticize the White House and had previously floated a primary challenge against Trump next year.
The Nebraska Republican began hammering Trump during the 2016 campaign and has ripped him during his White House tenure for his “amoralistic” rhetoric as well as his trade and foreign policy decisions.
Trump has responded to the criticism, tweeting early in 2016 that “the great State of Nebraska can do much better than @BenSasse as your Senator.”
While Trump continues to enjoy a sky-high approval rating within the Republican Party, Sasse has been protected against a wave of threats to his seat partially due to his solidly conservative voting record and his backing from the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
The American Conservative Union rated Sasse in 2017 as the Senate’s second-most conservative member after Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants Louisville passes ‘Breonna’s Law’ banning no-knock warrants Rand Paul aide joins Trump campaign, RNC fundraising group MORE (R-Ky.), and he has emerged as one of the most vocal opponents of abortion, attempting to force a vote in February on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would protect newborns who survive abortions.
Thus far only Matt Innis, the former chairman of the Lancaster County Republican Party, has announced a primary challenge to Sasse.
Sasse won his first term in 2014 by 33 points, and his seat is rated as “Solid Republican” by The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper.