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

Retired GOP Rep. Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentEx-GOP lawmaker: Former colleagues privately say they're 'disgusted and exhausted' by Trump Overnight Health Care — Presented by Better Medicare Alliance — Federal judge blocks Trump from detaining migrant children indefinitely | Health officials tie vaping-related illnesses to 'Dank Vapes' brand | Trump to deliver health care speech in Florida The Hill's Morning Report — Mueller testimony gives Trump a boost as Dems ponder next steps 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 TrumpRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Bombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to 'forever wars' Lawmakers dismiss Chinese retaliatory threat to US tech MORE and House Freedom Caucus leaders Reps. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsTop Zelensky aide refutes Sondland testimony Watchdog report finds FBI not motivated by political bias in Trump probe The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - A crucial week on impeachment MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanTop Republican requests House hearing with DOJ inspector general Trump, first lady take part in National Christmas Tree lighting The Hill's Morning Report - Dem impeachment report highlights phone records 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 RyanHouse Ethics Committee informs Duncan Hunter he can no longer vote after guilty plea Duncan Hunter pleads guilty after changing plea Trump campaign steps up attacks on Biden 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 PelosiTrump trade deal likely to sow division in Democratic presidential field Trump supporters at Pa. rally 'upset' after Democrats introduce impeachment articles California GOP candidate arrested on stalking charges 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.