Sen. Sasse Calls Out ‘Bullsh*t’ Grandstanding at Senate Hearing on Russia: You’re All ‘Trolling For Soundbites!’
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) ripped senators “trolling for soundbites” on Thursday just moments before Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was scheduled to speak during a committee hearing, calling it bullsh*t and demanding to know how long the committee was going to stay in session.
“Before [we] go to Sen. Cruz, can we get a sense of how long we’re going to be here? Some of us have other committees. With all due respect, I don’t think anybody in private ever disagrees with me when I say it’s bullsh*t the way people grandstand for cameras in here.”
The remarks came during a Senate Judiciary Committee review of the FBI’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, including the surveillance several advisers to President Donald Trump.
Sasse added that he wanted to know when the committee was going to vote so he could skip the talking. “The reality is if we didn’t have cameras in this room, the discussion would be different,” Sasse said. “The Senate doesn’t work, it doesn’t diffuse the partisan tensions that are leading the country toward dissolution. I’m for transparency. I’m for print reporters being everywhere. I’m for audio transcripts being everywhere. But 90 percent of our committees are about trolling for soundbites. That’s what actually happens.”
Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) took issue with Sasse’s accusation, and seemed to suggest that he had been referring to committee Democrats. “I don’t think they’re trolling for soundbites. I think they’re genuinely upset with what I’m doing,” Graham said. After Sasse clarified that the criticism was “bipartisan,” Graham defended himself.
“I don’t think I’m trolling for a soundbite. I’m trying to defend what I think we need to be doing as chairman. There happens to be a TV camera. I think we’d be having the same conversation if there wasn’t a television camera,” Graham said, to which Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) chimed in, “I would.”
Watch above via C-SPAN.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]