Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 8, 2016

Corker: No Apologies, Hard Feelings — or BS — for McConnell

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said Thursday he has no regrets about speaking his mind to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in a caucus lunch Wednesday, even though his language was a bit salty.

“Look, you know, some things were said that probably … I don’t know how to respond to it exactly,” Corker told a group of reporters in the Capitol basement. “I really don’t think there are any misgivings. … I think there’s been a lot of misunderstandings about what has transpired over the last week and who all’s been involved, who all hasn’t been involved, and all that.

“I’m really glad what happened yesterday at lunch, as far as my response, I’m glad that that occurred,” he continued. “For what it’s worth, while McConnell may not have been out front, Mitch has been very, very involved all the way through, very. There was no daylight, none. So in an unfortunate and weak moment something happened, and it’s no big deal. I can just assure you that McConnell has been very, very involved every step of the way.”

As CQ Roll Call reported Wednesday, frustration ran high in a closed-door Republican meeting Wednesday, when senators who were involved in negotiating a deal to avert the “nuclear option” on filibuster rules changes felt McConnell was unfairly criticizing them. According to multiple sources, McConnell told the room he was not aware of the deal and could have done better. Corker directed an audible “bullshit” toward the leader in front of his colleagues.

Corker and others, such as Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., have defended their deal saying that it was in the best interest of the caucus, the Senate and the government.

“What I did yesterday was not in a vacuum and I’m glad to be able to be in a position where I can do things that are for the greater good of the Republican Conference, the U.S. Senate, and ultimately, candidly, for the country and that’s what I did yesterday,” Corker said.

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