WASHINGTON (KMTV) – Sen. Ben Sasse said in an interview on Friday that President Donald Trump was “delighted” by Wednesday's chaos in Washington D.C. that saw rioters battle with law enforcement as they busted into the Capitol building and ransacked it.
“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 interviewer Hugh Hewitt. “He was delighted.”
Dozens of people were arrested during Wednesday’s chaos that unfolded as lawmakers were meeting to certify the Electoral College results.
The death toll from the riots is up to five, including a Capitol police officer who died from his injuries Thursday.
Hewitt asked Sasse, a Republican, if he thought Trump intended for the riot to happen.
“I think Donald Trump wanted there to be massive divisions, and he was telling people there was a path by which he was going to stay in office after January 20th. That was never true. And he wanted chaos on television. I don’t have any idea what was in his heart about what he wanted to happen once they were in the Capitol, but he wanted there to be chaos."
Later in the interview, Sasse added, “This is a part of a pattern. The guy is addicted to division. This is a deep brokenness in his soul. You and I have talked about it multiple times. Donald Trump is a guy who hurts.”
Hewitt also asked Sasse if Trump should be impeached and removed from office prior to the end of his term later this month when President-elect Joe Biden takes over.
“I think that there are a lot of questions that we need to get to the bottom of about why the National Guard was not deployed, why was it delayed,” said Sasse, who first assumed office in 2015 and breezed to another term in November. “I want to understand more about why the National Guard wasn’t deployed when there had been clear calls for it, and then why that delay happened. So there are more things that I need to understand before I get to a conclusory judgment about that. But I think that the question of was the President derelict in his duty, that’s not an open question. He was.”
In another interview on Friday, Sasse told CBS This Morning that he will consider whatever articles of impeachment the House of Representatives might move against Trump.
“The House, if they come together and have a process, I will consider whatever articles they might move,” Sasse said. “I believe the president has disregarded his oath of office.”
On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump and his administration "condemn" what happened at the Capitol on Wednesday and that the protesters were “a group of violent rioters undermining the legitimate First Amendment rights of the many thousands who came to peacefully have their voices heard in our nation's capital."