President Donald Trump openly mocked Republican South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford Tuesday for his recent party primary loss at a meeting of the House Republican conference.
Trump: “Is Mark Sanford here? I just want to congratulate him on running a great race.”
Room goes silent. Trump then called him a nasty guy and the room booed, a bit.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) June 19, 2018
Trump’s comment was not particularly well received by the conference with several members reportedly audibly disgruntled.
Trump took no questions during closed-door meeting with House Republicans; multiple members say there were “moans” in the room when he called out Mark Sanford by name
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) June 19, 2018
Trump directly endorsed Sanford’s primary opponent during the race and took credit for his narrow defeat. Sanford is a vocal opponent of the president and many of his policies, though he carried political baggage of his own.
Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA. He is MIA and nothing but trouble. He is better off in Argentina. I fully endorse Katie Arrington for Congress in SC, a state I love. She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes. VOTE Katie!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2018
Sanford famously went on a tryst with his mistress to Argentina in 2009 when he disappeared while serving as the governor of South Carolina. He later resigned during the fallout after being caught lying — he originally claimed he was hiking the Appalachian trail.