A student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was surprised over the weekend when he requested a car on with the ride-hailing service Uber and his driver was Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.).
Adrian Silva, 19, a sophomore architecture student, told BuzzFeed News that he recognized the senator’s name and picture when they showed up on his app.
“At first, I was like, ‘What?’ Like the moment when you get trolled,” Silva told BuzzFeed. “I thought it was a joke, but then I saw he had a five-star rating. And it became apparent when I saw the rating that it was probably real.”
Silva said he found Sasse waiting in the car alongside an aide. Sasse got out of the car to introduce himself, and his aide told Silva that Sasse was driving an Uber in order to talk to constituents.
“He’s a pretty cool guy,” said Silva. “I couldn’t see who else would take time out of their day and shake my hand.”
Silva, who described himself as a disappointed Hillary Clinton supporter, said he discussed the election with Sasse.
“I asked if we could talk about the election, and he said, ‘Sure, you can lay it on me,’” Silva said. “Since Ben Sasse was one of the few Republican senators who didn’t endorse [President-elect Donald Trump], I asked him if he held that position still. He made it clear that they would obviously have to work together.”
Silva said he was “impressed” by Sasse’s answer.
“When you have an actual senator there, you realize this is his actual job to work with the president, so you gain an appreciation for how they have to handle things,” Silva said.
Sasse confirmed on Twitter that the story is “#real.”
@kimkuz— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) November 13, 2016
I like to work alongside and for Nebraskans.
I drove uber yesterday.
(For charity--I'm obv'ly not allowed to make any outside money)
@BenSasse wait whut— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) November 13, 2016
A spokesman for the senator told TheBlaze in an email that Sasse “does tons of Nebraska work events — from changing tires on semi-trucks to feeding cattle at 5am.”
“This work tour was built around the changing and disintermediated economy, a subject he talks about frequently,” the spokesman added. “The Senator doesn’t receive a dollar for these work opportunities and doesn’t want to” and that Uber told them they would donate Sasse’s earnings to charity.
A spokeswoman for Uber told TheBlaze in an email that “We’re pleased Senator Sasse was able to see firsthand the positive impact and type of engagement Uber drivers have with their communities.”
This post has been updated to include a response from Uber.