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Fmr. McConnell Staffer on CNN: Senate Leader Punted ‘Hot Garbage’ Report on Being Descendant of Slave Owners

A CNN panel debating Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) denunciation of slavery reparations on Tuesday night resulted in a fierce debate after a former staffer for the Senate leader praised his old boss for punting “hot garbage.”

The segment, which aired on CNN’s Outfront with Erin Burnett, featured the network’s political commentator Keith Boykin facing off with GOP operative Scott Jennings over comments McConnell made on Tuesday, saying, “I find myself once again in the same position as President [Barack] Obama. We both oppose reparations and we both are the descendants of slave owners.”

“I think Mitch McConnell’s statements are offensive, inaccurate, and hypocritical,” Boykin said at the beginning of the segment. “It’s offensive to mock a serious discussion about reparations accommodating what took place for African-Americans with a joke about President Obama.”

“Obama still supported the concept of helping African-Americans but felt maybe the best way to do it was to take a universal instead of a specific approach,” he added. “McConnell says let’s not do anything to help black people at all.”

Jennings, who also worked in the Bush administration, shot back by insisting McConnell was not joking and was instead “trying to point out there has been longstanding bipartisan and bi-racial opposition to the idea of paying reparations in this country.”

“Keith and I have something in common. We both worked for politicians that opposed reparations… so did Keith’s boss Bill Clinton,” the Republican added, referencing his time in McConnell’s office. “It’s not like this is a Republican view. It’s a widespread, widely held view across both parties. And across many people in white and black America.”

“McConnell was not making a joke,” he continued. “He was punting this hot garbage of a story into the sun which is exactly where it deserves to go.”

Boykin then argued that the issue is still relevant and “not [a] hot garbage of a story” due to “350 years of slavery and 50 years of segregation.”

In June, McConnell said reparations are a bad idea because slavery ended “150 years ago, when none of us currently living are responsible.”

“We’ve tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation,” the Senate leader added. “We’ve elected an African American president.”

Watch above, via CNN.

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Caleb Ecarma is a reporter at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter here: @calebecarma