Sen. Bob Corker Calls Trump’s Government Shutdown “Purposefully Contrived” and “Juvenile”

The outgoing Tennessee senator is not holding back.

In a CNN interview Sunday morning, retiring Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker (R) accused President Donald Trump of shutting down the government for his own political gain, calling the shutdown a “purposefully contrived fight.”

“This is a made-up fight so the president can look like he’s fighting,” the Republican senator told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “Even if he wins, our borders are going to be insecure.” Early Saturday, the government entered a shutdown because of a fight over funding for Trump’s border wall. The shutdown could possibly extend through the new year, according to Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget and acting White House chief of staff.

Corker said that the president is likely refusing to make a deal so he can make border security a campaign issue in 2020. “This is like falling off a table,” Corker said. “The Democrats easily would support more border funding, border security…in exchange for dealing with the Dreamers, and Republicans want to deal with Dreamers.” Corker was referring to undocumented immigrants who are shielded from deportation through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The government briefly shut down last year largely due to disagreement over the fate of the program, which was left unaddressed in the final spending bill.

“This is something that is unnecessary. It’s a spectacle, and candidly, it’s juvenile,” Corker said. “The whole thing is juvenile.”

A few hours later, Trump tweeted:

As Corker’s director of communications and others noted on Twitter, the president’s statements are not true: Trump told Corker he would have endorsed him if he had sought reelection, according to an October 2017 CNN article. Corker did not have a role in creating the Iran deal, and in fact vocally opposed it.

The Tennessee senator was quick to bite back, which makes sense, seeing as his time in the Senate is quickly coming to a close.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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