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.

THE BIG QUESTION...

as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot. That's what Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein tackles in her annual December column—"Billionaires Are Not the Answer"—about the state of journalism and our plans for the year ahead.

We can't afford to let independent reporting depend on the goodwill of the superrich: Please help Mother Jones build an alternative to oligarchy that is funded by and answerable to its readers. Please join us with a tax-deductible, year-end donation so we can keep going after the big stories without fear, favor, or false equivalency.

THE BIG QUESTION...

as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot.

Please read our annual column about the state of journalism and Mother Jones' plans for the year ahead, and help us build an alternative to oligarchy by supporting our people-powered journalism with a year-end gift today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.