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Sen. Ben Sasse. Photo: Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) criticized Republicans, Democrats, the Trump administration and the media over their handling of the whistleblower complaint, suggesting: "Everybody in this whole process should slow down..."

What he's saying: To Democrats, Sasse argued they "ought not to be using the word impeach before they have the whistleblower complaint or before they read any of the transcript."

  • To his fellow conservatives, Sasse said: "Republicans ought not to be rushing to circle the wagons ... when there's obviously lots that's very troubling here."
  • To the Trump administration, Sasse noted: "The administration ought not be attacking to whistleblower as some talking points suggest they plan to do."
  • And to the press, Sasse insisted: "The media humbly should not pretend that this story is about something that's going to be resolved in the next two hours. Done right with lots of deliberation this is going to take a lot of time, but there's obviously some really troubling things here."

Between the lines: Sasse is one of few Republicans who unabashedly critiqued President Trump during his first few years in the White House. But, Trump's recent endorsement of Sasse for reelection had largely quieted Sasse's criticisms until the whistleblower complaint.

Go deeper: Senate's new maverick Republican: Mitt Romney and the whistleblower complaint

Go deeper

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Obama speechwriter fears Biden unity drive is one-sided

Cody Keenan (right) is shown heading to Marine One in December 2009. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."

Scoop: Conservative group puts $700k behind Hawley

Sen. Josh Hawley explains his objection to certifying the 2020 election results hours after the U.S. Capitol siege. Photo: Congress.gov via Getty Images

A Republican group is raising and spending huge amounts of money defending Sen. Josh Hawley after he was ostracized for early January’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Why it matters: The Senate Conservatives Fund is plugging Hawley's ideological bona fides and backfilling lost corporate cash with needed political and financial support, helping inoculate him as he weighs reelection or a possible presidential campaign in 2024.