WH: Sen. Corker ‘Entitled to His Own Opinion, But He’s Not Entitled to His Own Facts’

By Melanie Arter | October 11, 2017 | 12:49pm EDT
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) (Screenshot of ABC News video)

(CNSNews.com) – The White House reacted to Sen. Bob Corker’s (R-Tenn.) spat with President Donald Trump on Tuesday by saying the senator was “entitled to his own opinion, but he’s not entitled to his own facts” and offered examples of how the president has shown “strong leadership on foreign policy and national security.”

“Look, Senator Corker is certainly entitled to his own opinion, but he's not entitled to his own facts. The fact is, this president has been an incredibly strong leader on foreign policy and national security. And he's been a leader on this front, and I think that’s been seen and demonstrated time and time again since he took office,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.


For example, she said, “Over 20 nations to significantly reduce economic and diplomatic ties with North Korea, further isolating them. He’s gotten China and Russia to sign on to the toughest U.N. sanctions against North Korea, ever. His new strategy is destroying ISIS. We have tremendous battlefield gains throughout Iraq and Syria. 

“With Europe, he’s gotten more NATO allies to pay their fair share and he’s strengthening that alliance. We’re also exporting energy like coal and natural gas to Eastern Europe,” Sanders said. His vision of principled realism is creating calm around the world and defeating our enemies. Again, Senator Corker may have an opinion but the facts certainly don’t lie. The president has been very successful in this front.”

The acrimony began when the president tweeted about Corker retiring from the Senate, saying how Corker “didn’t have the guts to run” and that the senator was “largely responsible for the horrendous Iran Deal.”

Corker responded by tweeting, “It's a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.”

Trump tweeted again, saying Corker “gave us the Iran Deal, & that’s about it.” Corker, in an interview with The New York Times, said he was concerned about Trump’s threats to North Korea, saying they could put the U.S. “on the path to World War III.” He also said the president was acting “like he’s doing ‘The Apprentice’ or something” and that Trump’s behavior “would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation.”

When asked to explain why Trump thinks the Iran deal is Corker’s fault when the deal was negotiated by the Obama administration, Sanders said, “Senator Corker worked with Nancy Pelosi and the Obama administration to pave the way for that legislation, and basically rolled out the red carpet for the Iran deal, and those are pretty factual.

When asked what Sanders would say to the president’s critics who say that by criticizing a number of senior Republicans “sometimes in very personal terms,” he is alienating himself from Republicans who he’ll need to move his legislation forward, Sanders said, “I don’t think he's alienating anyone. I think that Congress has alienated themselves by not actually getting the job done that the people of this country elected them to do. 

“They all promised and campaigned on repealing and replacing Obamacare; they haven’t done that. They've campaigned on tax reform; hopefully we see that happen. We're certainly committed to that and think we'll get there, but time and time again, Congress has made promises and failed to deliver. If anyone is being alienated, it's people that are promising things and not delivering on them,” she added.

Asked how these ongoing fights with congressional Republicans helps the president’s agenda, specifically tax reform, Sanders said, “The president is very committed to getting tax reform done. Look, he's calling on Congress to get their job done. They're on another vacation right now. I think that we would all be a lot better off if the Senate would stop taking vacations and start staying here until we actually get some real things accomplished. The president is here, and he's committed to working with them to do that.”

Sanders added that “hopefully Senator Corker, who's been somebody who's consistently talked about being a fiscal hawk, was presented with responsible cuts,” would support the president’s tax reform plan.

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