Trump’s ‘applauded and laughed’ Mark Sanford tweet not true, says Labrador
U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, on Thursday refuted a statement by President Donald Trump that House GOP members "applauded and laughed loudly" at negative comments the president made about Rep. Mark Sanford. The South Carolina Republican recently lost his re-election primary.
The comments were made during a closed-door GOP House meeting Tuesday night. Several House members present at the meeting said House members stood silent or booed.
The next day, the President tweeted, "Had a great meeting with the House GOP last night at the Capitol. They applauded and laughed loudly when I mentioned my experience with Mark Sanford. I have never been a fan of his!"
After Trump posted the statement, some House members called him out.
"House Republicans had front row seats to @POTUS’s dazzling display of pettiness and insecurity. Nobody applauded or laughed. People were disgusted," tweeted Michigan GOP Rep. Justin Amash.
U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello, R-Pennsylvania, called Trump's tweet "categorically false."
Labrador was asked about any clapping and laughing Thursday at a Conversations with Conservatives media event in Washington, D.C.
"There was absolutely no applause and I think it’s unfortunate that that incident happened," Labrador said.
"I believe that Mark Sanford is a good member of Congress. He made some mistakes in his life, but I have never seen a person in my life frankly try to atone for his past mistakes as much as I’ve seen Mark Sanford. I think it’s unfortunate that he lost, but I don’t think there was any laughter or clapping."
Labrador noted he does not think the president did it "intentionally."
"I think he was trying to joke, but I think it’s hopefully something — we all make mistakes and we can all learn form our past mistakes. I know that I've made my share in dealing with other members of Congress. But I do think that was a rather unfortunate incident."