Political News

Sanford says colleagues have his back after Trump's 'nasty guy' comment

Posted June 20, 2018 4:42 p.m. EDT

— Rep. Mark Sanford has heard from a "number of colleagues" following reports that President Donald Trump called him a "nasty guy" in an immigration meeting with lawmakers.

"I've been overwhelmed by the number of colleagues who have come up and said awfully kind things," the South Carolina Republican told CNN's Jake Tapper on Wednesday.

CNN previously reported that, according to members in the room Tuesday, Trump brought up Sanford's primary loss from last week. Sanford, a critic of Trump, lost his GOP primary to his conservative challenger, state Rep. Katie Arrington.

Arizona's Republican Rep. Paul Gosar told CNN there were "moans" and "groans" when the President called out Sanford.

Trump tweeted about the meeting on Wednesday, where he contradicted reports that people were upset by his remarks on Sanford.

"Had a great meeting with the House GOP last night at the Capitol. They applauded and laughed loudly when I mentioned my experience with Mark Sanford. I have never been a fan of his!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

Michigan's Rep. Justin Amash replied to Trump's tweet, and said instead that "people were disgusted."

"House Republicans had front row seats to @POTUS's dazzling display of pettiness and insecurity. Nobody applauded or laughed. People were disgusted," the Republican tweeted.

When asked to respond to Trump's comments on "The Lead," Sanford also said he doesn't "quite understand where the President comes from on any number of things these days."

"But I do think it's humbling, one, in this case the President was booed by colleagues in the House who basically said we don't go along with what the President is suggesting, and two, I think that there's a bigger message for all of us to take away from what occurred that goes well beyond the President's comments, well beyond the election of the 1st District, and that is the importance and the value of dissent in our political system," Sanford said.