CNN’s Wolf Blitzer made Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) angry on Tuesday when he interviewed Corker about his change in votes for the GOP tax reform bill. Blizter tried to set up Corker to look like a traitor to Republicans, but Corker shut that line of questioning straight away, reports The Hill.
Corker came on CNN’s “The Situation Room” after he switched his vote on the GOP tax bill from a “no” to a “yes.” Reports over the weekend noted a provision added to the bill last minute that would potentially benefit Corker and President Trump, alongside other owners of income-producing real estate.
Critics of this move have accused Corker of only voting yes for the bill because of the provision added that could potentially help him financially.
“I know I am being maligned,” Corker told Blitzer on Tuesday. “It’s just malicious.”
Blizter then did another shady move to Corker and played him a clip of Corker criticizing Trump in October, in which he said Trump had “proven himself unable to rise to the occasion” of being president, and asked if he still believed those remarks about Trump.
CORKER UNLOADS: He would NOT support Trump again; says Trump NOT a role model; won’t say if he trusts Trump w nukes https://t.co/oAGIWVZ8P9
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 24, 2017
Corker understood what Blizter was doing once he showed that clip, and tried to get back to the point of their conversation, which was passing the tax reform bill.
“Look, I know you’re having a great time with this interview, and I’m happy for you in doing so,” Corker fired back after a short exchange. “But, look, Wolf, I’ve said what I’ve said. And I’m doing what I’m doing.”
Corker then reveals that he and Blizter had even talked earlier on the phone and came to an understanding that this kind of malicious attack would not go on in the interview.
“I don’t appreciate, you know, the front end of this interview,” Corker continued. “You and I had a conversation about this yesterday on the phone, and you know that all of these things are totally malicious. They’re not true, and you know that, and people in the press that are responsible know that. I’m disappointed that you chose this opportunity to do what you did.”
Corker continued to talk to Blitzer with the dignity and grace that the CNN host was not showing him and tried to get back to the point of the interview.
“I thank you for letting me respond,” he said. “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 fired back at the Tennessee Republican, saying he was “not having fun.”
“This is not fun. These are critically important issues. You’re a United States senator, Mr. Chairman, you have an enormous responsibility,” Blitzer said.
Blitzer then went immediately on the defense, as all CNN journalists seem to be doing these days whenever a Senator or Republican dare try to defend themselves.
“These tax cuts are going to go forward. They may be great, they may not be great, but it’s your responsibility as a U.S. senator to answer these kinds of questions, and it’s certainly not something I’m doing because I want to have fun,” the CNN host continued. “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.”
CNN commentator David Axelrod tweeted about the interview after it ended, saying he had “rarely seen a legislator look as uncomfortable as Bob Corker just did.”
I’ve rarely seen a legislator look as uncomfortable & testy as @BobCorker just did after being pressed by @wolfblitzer on Corker’s switch on tax bill. “I know you’re having a great time with this interview and I’m happy for you,” said Corker, not looking the least bit happy.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) December 19, 2017
The House Republicans passed the final version of the GOP tax bill on Tuesday and the Senate followed suit that evening. However, the House had to do a revote on the bill Wednesday after the Senate parliamentarian ruled that three provisions in the bill violated Senate rules.