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Unseated Rep. Mark Sanford cries during interview, later says Trumpism is ‘cancerous growth’ in GOP

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Former GOP Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), who was unseated on Tuesday by challenger Katie Arrington, criticized President Donald Trump and what the Republican Party has become in a recent interview.

What did Sanford say?

During an interview Thursday with Rolling Stone's Andy Kroll, Sanford — 58, and also former governor of South Carolina — apparently cried during the interview.

"Congressman Mark Sanford is beginning to cry," Kroll writes. "We're only a few minutes into our conversation before the South Carolina congressman chokes up."

Sanford apologizes to Kroll and says, "I just can't go certain places or you hit the wrong nerve."

Sanford has been one of the few Republicans in the Senate or House who have been publicly critical of President Donald Trump.

On Tuesday, the day of the South Carolina primary, Trump castigated Sanford and endorsed Arrington in one fell swoop.

Just three hours before the polls closed, Trump, on Twitter, wrote, "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!”

In her victory speech, Arrington lauded the president, saying, "We are the party of President Donald J. Trump."

What did Sanford say about the loss?

"On one level, you do what anyone does in the wake of a loss or a public failure," Sanford says of his loss. "There's soul searching and there's coulda woulda shoulda. It was a fairly, almost profoundly moving experience as you suffer a loss, a public loss. You're there with your four sons. I gotta be careful. I don't want to lose it with you. Anyway, they each hug you and they're like, 'Dad, we're proud of you.' Stop for a second there."

Sanford takes a break to wipe his eyes, according to Kroll.

In short, Sanford says he's "still digesting it."

He adds that in races across the country — and more specifically, Arizona — the issues are "Are you for Trump or against Trump? No gray."

What did he say about the Trump movement?

Kroll goes on to pull out a word that Sanford used previously during the interview to describe the Trump movement, which he says is "metastasizing."

Kroll asks, "You used the word metastasize. We use that word for a cancer, a disease. Is that what this allegiance [to the president] is?"

"[I]t is a cancerous growth," Sanford responds.

He explains, "The basis on which people's frustrations have been built is real and understandable in the way that at times Washington doesn't work for them or their families and those they love. And I think that again that which gave rise to the Trump phenomenon needs to be acknowledged as real and valid."

"I think the metastasization component is the way in which at times the president has pandered in his answers suggesting that there's an easy cure," Sanford adds.

With nearly 94 percent of precincts reporting, Arrington’s vote count was at 50.7 percent.

Sanford's vote count was at Sanford’s 46.4 percent.

This is the first race Sanford lost over his 25 years in politics.

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