Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., thinks President Donald Trump continues to trample on him after he lost in his state's primary because he wants to send a message of not to cross him.
Trump has been vocal in his displeasure with Sanford, who fell short in earning a spot on the November ballot to contend for another term. That verbal assault continued at a meeting Trump had with Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Tuesday night. Trump later claimed people laughed and cheered when he called Sanford a "nasty guy," although several people in the room refuted that.
During an interview with HLN's S.E. Cupp on Thursday, Sanford addressed the matter.
"A number of colleagues came up and said, 'look, he shot you in the race, now he comes and dances on your grave,'" Sanford said. "This is weird, this focus, this preoccupation. But there may be a method to the madness. A number of other colleagues have said, 'this is about sending a signal: if you mess with me, I'll mess with you.'"
Sanford revealed Trump wants everyone on his side of the fence to be loyal to him.
"What he somehow expects is 100 percent allegiance to him, not the ideas that you ran on, or the constitutional framework of debate that was set up indeed by the founding fathers here that is so important to generating ideas to better people's lives," Sanford said.
The former South Carolina governor added that during the Trump presidency, "there is at times a quashing of debate, a push back against dissent."
Trump tweeted against Sanford on the day of the South Carolina primary earlier this month. Katie Arrington won and said afterward, "We are the party of President Donald J. Trump."
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