Trump rips GOP's Sanford on primary day: 'He's better off in Argentina'

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 took aim at Rep. Mark SanfordMark SanfordThe Memo: Can the Never Trumpers succeed? Libertarians view Amash as potential 2020 game changer for party Trump becomes presumptive GOP nominee after sweeping primaries MORE (R-S.C.) hours before his primary race on Tuesday, endorsing his opponent with a reference to Sanford’s much-publicized extramarital affair when he served as governor. 

Sanford’s affair with Argentinian journalist Maria Belén Chapur in 2008 and 2009 nearly derailed his career after the then-South Carolina governor claimed he had been hiking the Appalachian Trail when in fact he was in Argentina with Chapur. 

Sanford went on to divorce his wife in 2010.


He will face off against Arrington, a state representative, in Tuesday’s GOP primary for South Carolina’s 1st District.

Arrington has also used Sanford’s affair to attack him in the race, alluding to it in a campaign ad released last month. 

“Bless his heart, but it is time for Mark Sanford to take a hike — for real this time,” Arrington says in ad.

Sanford is one of Trump’s most vocal GOP critics and has publicly slammed his behavior and policies, including his travel ban, which he says “fanned the flames of intolerance.” 

The lawmaker also repeatedly called for Trump to release his taxes during the 2016 presidential race. 

Some of Sanford’s fellow members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus defended him on Twitter following Trump’s slam.

Arrington has capitalized on Sanford’s criticism of the president. 

“You can’t have a seat at the table in the Oval Office because you’ve offended the president numerous times,” she said earlier this month. 

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“You should have the wherewithal not to go on CNN and bash our president. Instead, work with the president, work with leadership to get done what we want.”

Sanford has never lost an election in South Carolina, serving eight years in the governor’s mansion sandwiched by six terms in Congress.

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