Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) and Fox News host Sean Hannity again locked cyber-horns over President Donald Trump's seeming assaults on the First Amendment while attacking the media.
Who began the feud?
Hannity assailed the senator Wednesday after Sasse sent a tweet questioning whether Trump was revoking his oath to protect the Constitution.
Mr. President: Are you recanting of the Oath you took on Jan. 20 to preserve, protect, and defend the 1st Amendment? https://t.co/XLB7QXM3bQ— Ben Sasse (@Ben Sasse)1507773831.0
Sasse didn't think it was appropriate for Trump to be seeking to shut down media outlets after accusing them of creating and disseminating "fake news" about his administration.
Hannity called Sasse "useless" and lamented ever supporting the senator.
How did Sasse respond?
The feud continued Thursday with Sasse insinuating the Fox News host was taking the side of the president against the Constitution.
"Sorry, Sean," Sasse wrote, "you changed, not me. Some of us still believe in the Constitution. No President should play with censoring news they dislike."
Sorry, Sean -- you changed, not me. Some of us still believe in the Constitution. No President should play with cen… https://t.co/fSi4wdNzgx— Ben Sasse (@Ben Sasse)1507843789.0
Sasse then offered a litmus test for conservatives and the Constitution, asking, "What will you wish you had said now if someday a President Elizabeth Warren talks about censoring Fox News?"
Question for conservatives:
What will you wish you had said now if someday a President Elizabeth Warren talks about censoring Fox News?
— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) October 12, 2017
At press time, the tweet had received more than 3,000 retweets and 11,000 "likes."
Hannity shot back bitterly, "I’d never support censoring anybody!! I’ve stood up for freedom of speech/Constitution my entire life. You have accomplished NOTHING IN DC."
Hannity then called Sasse a "loser," adding, "The [president] keeps his promises. You criticize the [president] daily. How about standing up to McConnell? Call me when u repeal Obamacare."
"Also Ben if you care so much about the Constitution," he continued, "where have you been on surveillance, unmasking, leaking raw intel? 4 th amendment?" apparently in reference to the unmasking of Trump campaign associates by Obama officials before the election.
"And Ben In New York Times v. Sullivan, 'false statements' with 'actual malice' are not protected by the Constitution,Hmm 'Fake News' Malice?" he added, referring to a landmark Supreme Court case that established a limitation to free speech in 1964.
"Ben last point," Hannity tweeted. "Has the 'Fake News Media' ever lied about you? Have they lied about [the president]?"
"Proving malice is impossible-I say let them lie," Hannity concluded.
Sasse had not respond to the insults from Hannity Thursday evening.
Sasse has been a critic of Trump, while Hannity has been an unabashed supporter, admitting proudly that he backed the candidate from the moment he announced his presidency. Sasse was not the only conservative to criticize the president for what appeared to be a wish to undermine the Constitutional protection of freedom of the press.