According to multiple reports, anti-Trump Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) will be accepting a position as the president of the University of Florida and resigning his Senate seat in the near future. Pro-Trump Gov. Pete Ricketts would then appoint a replacement, with the seat then going for a special election happening in 2024. Sasse has long been a Trump critic, bashing the 45th President during his White House tenure and afterward. Sasse said regarding evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, “President Trump lied that he ‘won the election by a landslide,’” adding, “He lied about widespread voter fraud, spreading conspiracy theories despite losing 60 straight court challenges.”
But Trump has clapped back at the disloyal Republican in Name Only (RINO) senator, dubbing him “Little Ben Sasse” and calling him a “grandstanding, little-respected senator.”
Trump previously called the moderate Republican a “loser,” a “sleazebag,” and a “quiet little boy.”
“He’s actually stupid, ’cause you know the problem with the Republicans is they don’t stick together. You don’t have Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse in the Democrat Party.”
The University of Florida confirmed Sasse’s plans in a press release Thursday that announced him as the sole finalist for the position. Given the length of the university’s process, the exact timing of his future resignation is up in the air but likely to happen this year.
Sasse said he and his wife have been “pursued by wonderful institutions the past two years, but we’ve resisted being a finalist. This time is different because the University of Florida is different: I think Florida is the most interesting university in America right now.”
The second-term Sasse made a name for himself as a consistent Donald Trump critic in Congress as well as a reliable conservative vote. Despite his interest in academia, his resignation will be a bit of a surprise after he ran for reelection in 2020 and the potential that he could one day pursue higher office.
Sasse was one of seven GOP senators to vote to convict the former president during Trump’s second impeachment trial, after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. His resignation will create a safe GOP seat in a red state; in addition to Ricketts, Nebraska GOP Reps. Don Bacon and Mike Flood may also be in the mix for the appointment.
Democrats have heaped praise upon the RINO, with far-left Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii saying, “Ben is a good and smart and principled person,” and “I can hardly think of an issue on which we agreed but he is someone whom I respect for always standing by the courage of his conviction for always being thoughtful and for standing up for the rule of law.”
It is unclear if Gov. Ricketts will appoint himself to the U.S. Senate, but if he does, he would be a Trump ally in the chamber.