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Ben Sasse: We Need a President Who Doesn’t Pretend ‘Beating Up a Reporter is Okay’

President Donald Trump‘s recent jokes about the assault of a reporter don’t have everyone laughing.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) faced a persistent line of questioning from CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday, who pushed him to take a clear stand on the commander in chief’s dangerous rhetoric at a Montana rally last week.

Though Sasse began by stating he doesn’t pay much attention to the rallies, he added, “We need to have a president who celebrates the First Amendment and not pretends that beating up a reporter is okay.”

On Thursday, Trump delivered a speech in support of Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-MT) in which he recalled the politician’s physical attack on The Guardian‘s Ben Jacobs, stating, “Any guy that can do a body slam, he’s my kind of guy.”

The May 2017 incident led to Gianforte pleading guilty to misdemeanor assault.

While Sasse conceded that the president’s remarks were wrong, the senator felt those in his state “tune out most of the rallies” and that they believe “there’s a short-term, long-term thing going on and feel that the president’s rhetoric is kind of short-term playful.”

“No, it’s not okay,” Sasse said. “But I do think it’s sort of baked into the president’s stock price, that sort of this amoralistic take he has on it is just what most people think the president’s going to do and most people where I live sort of ignore most of it. Some think it’s funny. Some are really anxious about it but most people just think well that’s kind of how the president talks. We need to do better than that.”

Watch the clip above via CNN.

[Image via screengrab]

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