Arizona Republican Sen. Martha McSally coldly dismissed a CNN reporter who attempted to ask her about impeachment Thursday, pleasing conservatives who disapprove of CNN's coverage but causing offense to those who believe McSally's response was unprofessional.
CNN reporter Manu Raju is the network's senior congressional correspondent, who is often seen chasing down lawmakers in the hallway asking them for comment on the news of the day. Sometimes that goes well for him, other times, not so much.
"Sen. McSally, should the Senate consider new evidence as part of the impeachment trial?" Raju asked McSally as she walked to her office.
"Manu, you're a liberal hack," McSally responded. "I'm not talking to you."
"You're not gonna comment?" Raju followed up.
"You're a liberal hack," McSally repeated.
Here's the moment when Sen. Martha McSally called CNN's Manu Raju a "liberal hack": https://t.co/5iJ4brXuXg— Julio Rosas (@Julio Rosas)1579188389.0
Raju described McSally's response by saying she "lashed out," although her demeanor remained calm during the exchange.
McSally reiterated her view of Raju in response to his tweet about their conversation, sharing another video angle of the interaction.
A) you are. B) here’s the video. https://t.co/zVgk9pBhdf https://t.co/cfFdotLjFK— Martha McSally (@Martha McSally)1579188179.0
Raju's question was a legitimate one, but McSally's response reflects the animosity from some Republicans toward the network. As the Senate trial begins, the most pressing question is whether it will include witnesses who did not testify in the House's impeachment inquiry, such as John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, or Joe Biden or his son, Hunter Biden.
Some Republican senators do seem to want new witness testimony in the trial, particularly from former national security adviser Bolton. Bolton has said he would testify if he is subpoenaed.
Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have pitched a plan of witness reciprocity, which would guarantee that if Democrats call a witness that Republicans would also get one. There is a chance that enough Republicans would vote in favor of calling witnesses that Democrats could successfully call Bolton or others.