Sen. Cory Gardner (R., Colo.) ripped CNN host Brooke Baldwin for relaying "stupid" questions Tuesday about senators receiving a briefing at the White House on North Korea, saying that such preoccupations are why the American people are "pissed" at Washington.
While Gardner and Baldwin remained polite throughout the interview, Gardner made clear his disdain for the debate over the site of the briefing.
Asked by Baldwin to assess how President Trump has worked with Congress, Garder mentioned Wednesday's briefing as an example of a break with past administrations, in which all 100 senators will go to the White House to be briefed on North Korea.
Baldwin, mentioning there was a "perfectly good SCIF [Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility]" on Capitol Hill, asked Gardner why he thought they were all being summoned to the White House for such a meeting.
"I can't think of in recent memory any time 100 U.S. Senators—I don't know how you all are getting there … Why do you think you're going there?" she asked.
"That's where the meeting is at," Gardner said. "I think arguing over where a meeting is going to be on North Korea is about the stupidest thing Washington could be doing … It's ridiculous. Let's fight about the policy on North Korea. Let's argue about the right direction for this country. But having an argument over where a meeting occurs? That's just silly."
Baldwin retorted that "critics are saying" this is part of a ruse by the Trump White House to do showy things as the 100th day of the administration approaches.
"Are you concerned that you and your colleagues are being used?" she said.
"We're talking about North Korea," he said. "We're talking about a regime that has dozens of nuclear weapons, that is testing them, that is violating United Nations sanctions."
"But forgive me, we're also talking politics," Baldwin said. "Politics."
"The last thing we ought to be doing is arguing about where the meeting is," Gardner said. "That's just stupid. If Washington gets caught in argument over where a meeting is, no wonder the American people are so pissed off at it."
Baldwin laughed, saying she appreciated the senator's "candor."