WATCH: Sen. Mike Lee promptly ends interview when asked if Republicans caused Donald Trump's rise

Salon discusses what led to Donald Trump and how the 2013 government shutdown contributed

By Carrie Sheffield
Published November 9, 2016 8:15PM (EST)

How are so-called experts explaining how a Donald Trump presidency happened? Pundits' autopsies should point — at least in part — to the 2010 creation of ObamaCare, which ultimately led to the Tea Party becoming a potent anti-establishment force.

This grassroots movement, emboldened by Sarah Palin and other radical leaders, helped usher a new crop of Tea Party congressional leaders into office with the Freedom Caucus in 2012 and 2014. Part of this crop of Tea Party favorites was Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, who worked with his pal Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas to force a government shutdown in 2013.

One could argue that this act of defiance continued the anti-establishment fervor that helped create Donald Trump. On election night we asked Lee whether he would agree that he contributed to Trump's rise; he denied the charge. Still, many Utahans were upset with Lee for his supposed role in the shutdown, which may have contributed to Independent candidate Evan McMullin's success in the state.

Watch the full segment here:

Carrie Sheffield

Carrie Sheffield is a Salon Talks host, founder of Bold and adviser to Lincoln Network. She previously wrote editorials for The Washington Times, covered politics for POLITICO and The Hill and analyzed municipal credit for Goldman Sachs and Moody's Investors Service.

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