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CNBC Roundtable Grills Man Behind TARP in Tense Interview: 'Silly Thing to Say

"Are you saying that was silly?"

Neil Barofsky, the former U.S. Treasury Inspector General who oversaw TARP, appeared on CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday to discuss his new book, "Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street," and things got a little heated.

“First of all, there's a contradiction that people pointed out in your book. One is that you say Treasury didn't listen to you when you were making suggestions about how to improve the program," a CNBC host said to the former Treasury IG. "At the same time, I think the book says you were instrumental in the success TARP had. So which one is it? Did they not listen to you to did they listen to you?"

“That's a very silly thing to say, actually,” the former IG responded. “If you read the book, you’ll know that the treasury did refuse to listen to us but we were able to sort of work around a lot of things. For example, we were able to work with congress and the Federal Reserve to help limit impact -- ”

“It wasn’t my comment that’s ‘silly.’ It was one made in the New York Times about your book. Are you saying that was 'silly?'" the host shot back.

“I think that review has been taken down by a number of different things, including the Columbia Journalism Review,” Barofsky countered.

Although Barofsky made it through most of the debate with a smile, he was apparently annoyed enough to tweet the following after he left CNBC's studios: “Pumped to be appearing with the professional journalists over at @BloombergTV today at 10am.”

Ouch.

And in case that wasn’t enough to convey his irritation with the CNBC panel, he also tweeted this: “Definitely got Krugmanned.”

“Krugmanned,” of course, refers to an interview Paul Krugman did on CNBC where he felt like the hosts were really mean to him -- so he wrote all about their “zombie ideas” in a scathing blog post.

Watch the debate [via CNBC]:

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

(H/T: BI)

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