Tags: Media Bias | Trump Administration | Trump Tax Reform | wolf blitzer | bob corker | cnn | fake news

Corker Goes Uncorked on Blitzer After Grilling on Switched Vote

(CNN's "The Situation Room")

By    |   Tuesday, 19 December 2017 06:46 PM

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., on Tuesday lashed out at CNN's Wolf Blitzer after a lengthy interview in which Blitzer repeatedly asked Corker about his reason for switching from opposing to supporting the GOP tax bill.

Corker, a Republican holdout on the bill, has been accused by critics of trading his vote for a last-minute provision that would benefit him personally because of his real estate investments. It was originally reported by International Business Times on Friday, and Corker told the publication he had never heard of the provision until they informed him of it.

But the senator denied any such motive on CNN's "The Situation Room," saying he had been holding out only to try to get provisions in the bill he thought necessary for taxpayers. When it came down to the wire and it became obvious his objections would not win out, he joined in as a "yes" to ensure the bill's passage.

"Honestly, Wolf, there are things in it I wouldn't have in there, but that's the way a legislative process works," Corker said. "I did everything I could, Wolf, to try to . . . make this create smaller deficits or at least the possibility of that."

Corker also noted fellow Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah had defended him, pointing out the the provision that would benefit Corker was not put into the bill last week to secure his vote, but had been part of the House version since early November.

But when Blitzer repeatedly asked Corker to explain himself for changing his vote from "no" to "yes," the senator finally had had enough.

"You can criticize me, but I don't really know, Wolf, what it is you're getting at" Corker asked. "What are you trying to say here?"

Blitzer said he was not criticizing Corker, but wanted to give him a chance to explain himself.

"I've had to explain it three times," Corker shot back. He also said his salary in his real estate investments goes to charity anyway, so he would not be able to personally benefit from a change anyway.

Blitzer at one point admitted he was holding Corker longer than he had expected, but argued it was an important he explain to voters why he had changed his vote. He also said President Donald Trump, whom Corker has sharply criticized in the past, tweeted him a note of thanks for switching his vote.

But Corker said no such tweet ever happened — nor did Trump ever call him.

Instead, "I called him to let him know I was voting against it two Fridays ago," Corker said. "And then I called him on Friday to let him know what I was going to do and why, but I don't remember seeing any tweets."

"Maybe there was no tweet," Blitzer admitted. "That may have been my mistake."

He then played a video clip of Corker criticizing Trump in October and asked if he still stands by what he said now that he is on Trump's side of the tax bill.

"Look, I know you're having a great time with this interview, and I'm happy for you in doing so," Corker said. "But, look, Wolf, I've said what I've said. And I'm doing what I'm doing."

Now is not the time to rehash the past, but to move forward, Corker said, who then accused Blitzer of promising to let him defend himself against what he called "malicious" attacks, then bombarding him in a near 25-minute interview.

"I'm disappointed that you chose this opportunity to do what you did," Corker said. "I thank you for letting me respond. I know you had a good time with this interview. Is there anything else that you would like from me to talk with you about?"

Blitzer denied he was "having fun" and said he wanted to give him the chance to defend himself against claims he changed his vote for financial gain.

"You explained that – you explained it well," Blitzer said. "I wanted to give you that opportunity. I'm doing it because I'm a reporter, I'm a journalist, and I'm asking you questions that are legitimate, fair questions, sir."

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CNN's Wolf Blitzer pressed Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., for his reason for switching to vote "yes" on the GOP tax reform bill and a testy exchange ensued.
wolf blitzer, bob corker, cnn, fake news
Tuesday, 19 December 2017 06:46 PM
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