Rep. Dent: ‘More Of My Colleagues Should Speak Up’ Against Trump

Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., a key moderate in the health care bill debate, explains why he would be voting "no" on the Obamacare replacement, Thursday, March 23, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. House Speaker Paul Ryan and the Republican leadership are scrambling for votes on their health care overhaul in the face of opposition from reluctant conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus, such as Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., being interviewed at right. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) said Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) is not the only Republican who is frustrated with President Trump, but said he and fellow outgoing lawmaker Corker may be the only Republicans who have been “bold” about their dissatisfaction.

“We’ve had a lot of these ‘the emperor has no clothes’ moments and I’m glad that Sen. Corker has brought voice to this,” Dent said Monday on MSNBC. “We are concerned. My colleagues, my Republican colleagues in the House, I know, and Senate, are concerned by much of the dysfunction and disorder and chaos at the White House.”

He acknowledged that tensions have eased “a bit” since John Kelly became chief of  staff, but said the constant “insults” and “side shows” are distracting Congress from focusing on policy.

“We have these conversations all the time and we have to do better and I think more of my colleagues should speak up,” he said. “They say things privately, they don’t say publicly. I said it publicly before I announced I wasn’t running.”

Dent’s comments follow an ongoing back-and-forth between President Donald Trump and Corker. Corker has called the White House an “adult day care center” and said the President is putting the U.S. on the “path to World War III.”

When you’re the President of the United States, your words are policy. People take those words very seriously, and I don’t think the President has learned that yet,” Dent said, referencing Trump’s fiery rhetoric toward North Korea and it’s leader Kim Jong-Un. “The President, I believe, has to be much more measured in his rhetoric, but good luck with that.” 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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