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CNN’s Poppy Harlow Clashes With GOP Congressman Over Impeachment: ‘Don’t Insult the Media on This Network’

CNN anchor Poppy Harlow clashed with Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX) in a heated debate, Friday, which resulted in Harlow dressing Gooden down for using the term “fake news media.”

After Gooden claimed on Twitter that former Vice President Joe Biden had committed a crime, Harlow declared, “There is zero evidence at this point that Joe Biden did anything wrong. As you know, he was among so many leaders in the West calling for Shokin to be pushed out as prosecutor.”

“How do you know this? How do you know this?” asked Gooden, as Harlow replied, “Because I read it. Because I have it here. Because we fact-check these things.”

The argument continued:

Gooden: “Did you read it in a leaked report?”

Harlow: “No, it’s our reporting.”

Gooden: “This is from the New York Times? They’re great with the leaks.”

Harlow: “No, it’s not. First of all, could you just respectfully finish the question? Okay? Let me cite to you from someone in the Bush administration, okay? Not some liberal. Quote, Steven Pfeiffer, who is a career foreign service officer in the Bush administration, talking about why Shokin had to go. Virtually everyone in the US government, he said that he knew at the time, ‘felt that Shokin was not doing his job and should be fired.’ You are saying in this tweet, your words, to everyone without any evidence, that Joe Biden committed a crime. Where is your evidence, and is that responsible, sir?”

Gooden: “I’m saying that we’ve gone down this path where if the President of the United States says he wants corruption thrown out of our society, he wants to investigate corruption, that’s suddenly an outrage… offensive thing to bring forward. Democrats on the other side are outraged that this president wants to get corruption out of our society, so what have they done? They’ve started these investigations where we don’t even know what’s happening. It’s crazy.”

Harlow: “Can you help me square the circle here, because I’m having a hard time. You’re upset with the process of how Democrats are conducting this inquiry?”

Gooden: “Absolutely. Aren’t you upset with the process?”

Harlow: “That’s your opinion, sir. But they’re conducting an inquiry.”

Gooden: “It’s an opinion shared by every Republican in Congress that has been shut out of this process.”

Harlow: “Congressman, the Democrats are conducting an inquiry into whether there were high crimes here by the president. Whether something is impeachable. Without an inquiry…”

Gooden: “Do you know that because I haven’t seen anything but leaks?”

Harlow: “You said on Twitter without an inquiry–”

Gooden: “This is not a leak.”

Harlow: “Without an inquiry, sir, you said on Twitter that Joe Biden committed a crime. That’s my point. Square the circle for me.”

Gooden: “Okay, here’s the circle. You’re comparing a Twitter post to an impeachment inquiry that is bringing people into a skiff where members of Congress don’t even know what’s happening… You’re comparing a Twitter post to an inquiry of impeachment that the U.S. House has not authorized. That’s a stretch.”

Harlow: “Democrats have the right to pull this inquiry the way they are doing it now. They do, that’s just a fact.”

Gooden: “I’m not saying it’s illegal what they’re doing–

Harlow then said, “I gotta go,” prompting Gooden to proclaim, “The American people are outraged, are outraged by this process, and the fact that the fake news media is not outraged with me is very telling.”

“Please don’t insult the media on this network, or on this show, on our show,” Harlow shot back. “And congressman you say it’s just a Twitter post, but it’s your words and your words matter a lot. Thank you for being here.”

“I didn’t say it’s just a Twitter post. Those are your words,” Gooden replied. “I said you’re comparing a Twitter post to an impeachment inquiry.”

Harlow concluded, “I apologize. I shouldn’t have added the word ‘just’. Congressman Lance Gooden, thank you for being here.”

Following the interview, CNN anchor Jim Sciutto congratulated Harlow, commenting, “Poppy, good for you for calling it out. It’s a frequent talking point, go to the fake news media. I had experience yesterday asking direct questions to the president’s trade adviser, and more power to you. It’s about giving straight answers to straight questions.”

“I just think that words matter and when you represent so many people in the U.S. Congress, and you write that someone has committed a crime, come here with the evidence,” Harlow responded.

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