WASHINGTON ― The drama and acrimony in the Senate over the past week may be hampering the chances of contacts with extraterrestrial life, Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said jokingly on Wednesday.
Kennedy expressed dismay about the bad blood and finger-pointing among his colleagues, who feuded in recent days about an infamous White House meeting on immigration last week with President Donald Trump. The ensuing fallout from the session ― in which the president reportedly referred to Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries” and said that instead of immigrants from those areas, he would like more from places like Norway ― has resulted in several African nations summoning U.S. diplomats to protest Trump’s comments.
Several of the meeting participants ― Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) ― have been engaged in a war of words over what the president exactly said about certain countries. Cotton and Perdue went so far as to question the credibility of Durbin, who confirmed Trump’s “shithole” remark.
The spectacle was too much for Kennedy, a freshman who already has made a name for himself on Capitol Hill by frequently opining on events of the day with folksy and witty one-liners. In his Wednesday comments, he compared the Senate’s recent nastiness to the notoriously sensational daytime television program “The Jerry Springer Show,” and facetiously posited that it was impairing intergalactic relations.
“That’s why the aliens won’t talk to us,” Kennedy told reporters. “They look at all of this stuff, and they go, ‘These people ― they’re 13-year-olds.’”
He continued: “I’m talking about private meetings, so-and-so said this, and no, he didn’t say that, and you’re a liar. The whole junior high cafeteria syndrome.”
He added: “You know ― here’s a newsflash to you: Sometimes, people swear, okay?”
Kennedy said the discord among his colleagues was hindering talks to fund the government and avoid a shutdown of agencies at the end of this week.
“It’s not productive,” he said of the squabbling.