Former GOP lawmaker: Republicans know shutdown is ‘a fight they cannot win’

Retired GOP Rep. Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller testimony gives Trump a boost as Dems ponder next steps The Hill's 12:30 Report: Muller testimony dominates Washington Lawmakers, press hit the courts for charity tennis event MORE (Pa.) on Monday blamed the ongoing government shutdown on Republicans, saying his own party knows it is “a fight they cannot win.”

“This whole shutdown is so completely unnecessary,” he said on CNN. “This is so easily averted. The party that makes the policy demand owns the shutdown. And so I think on the Republican side, this is just a fight they cannot win and they know it.”

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Dent left Congress in May after deciding against seeking reelection for his congressional seat. He's now a contributor at CNN.

Dent criticized GOP leaders on Monday, saying the reported meeting between President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE and House Freedom Caucus leaders Reps. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsBen Shapiro: No prominent GOP figure ever questioned Obama's legitimacy Trump finds consistent foil in 'Squad' Gun store billboard going after the 'Squad' being removed following backlash MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanDemocratic Women's Caucus calls for investigation into Epstein plea deal DOJ releases notes from official Bruce Ohr's Russia probe interviews CNN slams GOP for not appearing on network after mass shootings, conservatives fire back MORE (R-Ohio) over the weekend shows the divide within the party.

“I am amazed,” he said. “What a stinging rebuke of the House Republican leadership. The president is not negotiating with the leaders on this thing?”

Dent was referring to the fact that Jordan and Meadows had the president's ear on Saturday as opposed to outgoing House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan moving family to Washington Embattled Juul seeks allies in Washington Ex-Parkland students criticize Kellyanne Conway MORE (R-Wis.).

Dent noted the several appropriations bills with bipartisan support would have averted the partial government shutdown that began on Saturday.

Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads The Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes Hobbled NRA shows strength with Trump MORE has no incentive to negotiate with Republicans between now and her swearing in day on Jan. 3 — her position only gets stronger and stronger,” he said. “So I don’t understand the point of this thing. It makes absolutely no sense.”

Democrats and Republicans are at odds over Trump's proposed border wall. Trump has said he would not sign legislation that does not include at least $5 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border — a dollar amount that Democrats have rejected.