‘How Do You Know?’: Wolf Blitzer Grills GOP Rep. Over Claims Most Town Hall Attendees Weren’t Constituents
Last night, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that only about one-third of the attendees at her most recent town hall event were actually constituents of hers, claiming the others were from outside the district and perhaps even from out of state. (Many Republicans have claimed that town halls are being filled with paid protesters organized by liberal activists.)
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) February 23, 2017
During an interview this afternoon, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer relentlessly grilled the Tennessee lawmaker on her claims and pressed her to provide proof and evidence to back up her assertion, all while providing additional sources that contradicted her.
After Blitzer began the conversation by asking if she had any evidence to support her comments, Blackburn stated that she had talked to people estimating the crowds and that is what they thought. The CNN anchor responded by bringing up a tweet from the New York Times’ Trip Gabriel, who attended the event.
Everyone I spoke to in this town hall identified themselves as TN-7 voter. Town restricted RSVP’s to locals and checked ID’s. https://t.co/4xLVn2qeOH
— Trip Gabriel (@tripgabriel) February 23, 2017
“You know, Wolf, there were some people who stood up to speak and ask a question and they identified themselves as living outside of the district,” the GOP rep responded. “So, I don’t know who the reporter talked to.”
Blackburn further noted that some of those who RSVP’d to the town hall didn’t put down their information, even though it was pointed out that they had to be residents of the district.
“Hold on one second, Congresswoman, because there is some video that is now out there on social media,” Blitzer replied. “I’m going to play it for you and then we’ll continue this. Watch this.”
After showing Blackburn a video from the meeting showing nearly all of the attendees raising their hands when asked who lived in the district, Blitzer asked the congresswoman, “How do you know only a third of the people who were inside actually were from your district?”
For the next couple of minutes the two went back and forth, with Blitzer highlighting that they were checking IDs at the door and were told they needed to live in the district, and Blackburn saying that out-of-state license plates were seen in the parking lot folks were heard in line stating they didn’t live there. She also complained that Blitzer was “hung up on percentages,” with the CNN anchor shooting back she was the one who made the claim in the first place.
Watch the clip above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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