Sean Duffy has joined CNN — and viewers and fellow commentators haven’t welcomed him with open arms.
A month after resigning from Congress to spend more time with his wife, fellow Real World alum, Rachel Campos-Duffy and their now nine children, Duffy joined “the CNN family” as a conservative contributor to the network, Jake Tapper announced on Sunday’s State of the Union.
The Trump loyalist’s debut was rough-going, however. “Let me speak,” he said at one point during a segment as fellow contributor Jen Psaki, the former White House communications director in the Obama administration, called him out for being “factually wrong” and peddling an “absurd conspiracy theory.”
During that exchange, Duffy had argued that Trump should push for an investigation into whether Ukrainian nationals were in possession of a computer server belonging to the Democratic National Committee. However, the server conspiracy theory was previously debunked. Duffy ultimately acknowledged that it “may be” debunked, but continued to insist it should still be investigated anyway. That led to another panelist Amanda Carpenter dismissing the notion as pointless “because we already know what happened.”
While he took some hits, Duffy was back for more on Monday’s New Day, during which he defended the president for suggesting the G-7 summit take place at Trump National Doral. Duffy argued that the Trump family has “lost money” since the president was elected — pointing to Nordstrom no longer selling Ivanka’s shoe line — and that he didn’t have “a problem with the policy behind” the decision to host world leaders at his facility. In contrast, former GOP Rep. Charlie Dent, a fellow guest, called Trump’s idea "an ethical train wreck."
Former GOP Rep. Charlie Dent called President Trump's initial decision to hold the next G7 summit at Doral "an ethical train wreck."— New Day (@NewDay) October 21, 2019
But former GOP Rep. Sean Duffy defends it by claiming Trump would "not be making any money."https://t.co/m0cwS4V1XM pic.twitter.com/cM2KmfKxZR
Duffy’s positions defending Trump haven’t endeared him to some viewers of CNN, who have been vocal on social media. After being called out on-air for advocating an “absurd conspiracy theory,” he’s been likened by more than one to right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
While some people say they welcome differing viewpoints on the network, they don’t think Duffy fits the bill. One person said he is functioning “purely as a Trump apologist and mouthpiece.”
I thought I would give CNN another chance, so I turned on Jake Tapper this morning. Who do I see? Sean Duffy, who proceeded to function purely as a Trump apologist and mouthpiece. Come on, CNN, can we get a partisan conservative who can provide real analysis and commentary?— Doug Poland (@douglaspoland) October 20, 2019
@jaketapper you hired Sean Duffy? WTF? I'm all about hearing from smart people who disagree with me...not people who are documented liars and do nothing but shill others talking points.— Matt Thorne (@mattthorne) October 20, 2019
He's on, I'm switching channels. Sorry, Jake.
Oh great, @CNN just welcomed another trump apologist to their family, Sean Duffy. Thanks but no thanks.— Jacqueline Kay Weil (@jackiread) October 20, 2019
First, @CNN hired Corey Lewandowski. Now they hire Sean Duffy. It's fine to have opposing voices. But why can't you pick people who aren't known liars? Why would a political network give a paycheck to people who will lie? That's what Fox does. You need to do better, CNN.— LaurenBaratzLogsted (@LaurenBaratzL) October 21, 2019
Wow. I didn’t think CNN could find a more bonkers pro Trump contributor than Rick Santorum but they did with Sean Duffy...complete conspiracy theorist. #CNNSOTU— Michael Beltran (@MickyBell) October 20, 2019
Of course, Duffy has supporters too.
Hey, @CNN, I will come back to watching you, now, that the honorable Sean Duffy is there!!!! Thank you!!— onward (@hislovejoypeace) October 21, 2019
Sean Duffy #MondayMotivaton Reading these #Liberal tweets just reaffirms how close-minded,BIASED etc. the #Left is! @FoxNews (love them or hate them)at least they allow both sides to be heard.Their bias shines when they have NO #Conservatives in house! #WakeUpAmerica— LivinOnAPrayer (@ConnieCase56) October 21, 2019
👏WOW! Good for #SeanDuffy for taking a job at #CNN! ...a smart move by @CNN to have some diversity of thought for a change. Hopefully he doesn't lose his way & sticks to the principles he believes today. #GOP #CNN Hires #SeanDuffy As A Contributor https://t.co/UFJQQDM78V— Paulina (@PaulineGoUSA) October 21, 2019
Since Trump has been in office, he has had a contentious relationship with CNN and many other outlets calling them “fake news” and “lamestream media.” Lawyers for the president and his reelection campaign recently threatened in a letter to sue the network for what they said was the network falsely advertising itself as a news organization.
Duffy announced in August he was leaving Congress — he represented Wisconsin’s 7th District — ahead of the birth of his 9th child with his Real World love wife Campos-Duffy. The baby girl, Valentina StellaMaris, who arrived earlier this month, was born with Down syndrome and a heart defect. Duffy said the child “will need even more love, time, and attention,” leading him to pull back from politics.
Campos-Duffy, who hosts Fox Nation’s Moms, shared the news of the baby’s arrival on Oct. 7 calling the child “the sweetest, most perfect angel we have ever seen.”
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