Clearly still miffed over the fact that President Trump blew him off earlier this week after the president announced his plans to withdraw US troops from Syria, Bob Corker lashed out at the president Friday during a brief huddle with reporters (what, presumably, will be one of the retiring senators last such scrums), accusing Trump of being beholden to conservative talk radio hosts Anne Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, who reportedly intervened to push the president not to back down on his battle to secure $5 billion in funding for his border wall – a battle that will likely lead to a lengthy partial shut down if Democrats don’t cave before midnight.
The Tennessee Republican accused Trump of caving to the influential hosts, citing his 180 on the budget battle as an example of the “tyranny of talk radio.”
“We have two talk-radio show hosts who basically influenced the president, and we’re in a shutdown mode,” Corker said. “That’s tyranny, isn’t it?,” he said. “How do you deal with that?”
He described Trump’s pivot as “juvenile.”
“I mean, this is a juvenile place we find ourselves. The reason we’re here is that we have a couple talk-radio hosts that get the president spun up.”
Though he said he’s still undecided on how he will vote, Corker asserted that the bill “will fail.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’d push for a vote on the stopgap spending plan, which has already passed the House, after meeting earlier with Trump and other Senate Republicans to discuss “a way forward.”
Trump is reportedly pushing McConnell to consider using “the nuclear option” – aka suspending filibuster rules that would allow the bill to pass with a simple majority, not the 60 votes needed to avoid a filibuster.
Meanwhile, Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said earlier there was “broad agreement” on a funding bill without the funding for the wall, and that Congress should vote on – and Trump should support – that.
Shortly after Corker’s comments hit the tape, at least one other Trump critic seized on the “tyranny of talk radio” theme”:
among other right-wing extremists…
God help us all.
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) December 21, 2018