Democratic lawmaker clashes with CNN host after question about heckling George Santos: ‘CNN, y’all trippin’

Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., mocked CNN host Erin Burnett on Friday after she asked if he regretted telling Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., to resign and wondered why she would “frame a question that way.”

Burnett asked Bowman if he had “regrets” about yelling at Santos to “resign” on Wednesday while Santos was talking to reporters.

“No, come on now,” Bownman responded. “Come on now. CNN, y’all trippin now. Listen, that was– first of all, he should resign or be expelled because of the laws that he is being accused of breaking, the violations, and lying to constituents. That’s number one. But number two, is heckling like a horrible, evil thing?”

“Is teasing someone, is friendly banter a horrible evil thing, come on y’all, everybody needs to lighten up and understand that one, and in a healthy democracy, dialogue and debate is essential, No. 1, No. 2, why even frame a question that way, that feeds into that trope that as a Black man, I’m not allowed to raise my voice,” he continued. 


Burnett pushed back and argued that it was a “fair question.” 

“I disagree,” she said. “I think it’s a fair question and here’s why. Dialogue and debate, I hear you. Wanting him to resign, I hear you. But yelling at him to resign when he’s talking at reporters is, in terms of decorum and behavior, is a different thing, which is fine if you think it’s ok. But I think it’s a fair question.”

Bowman noted the list of accusations against Santos, who was indicted in early May on seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives.

“He allegedly falsified campaign finance documents and stole from people, alright, that is a despicable act, we should be outraged by that, when I was yelling at Rep. Massie about guns killing children, we should be outraged by that. Listen, raising my voice is a sign of passion and intensity, it’s not a sign of anger or hate or rage or anything that should make anyone feel uncomfortable,” Bowman said. 


“The majority of support that I hear from my district, is people are excited that finally elected officials are expressing passion and expressing discontent and rage for the things that aren’t moving in Washington, Washington takes 1,000 years to move on common sense legislation, like gun control, that frustrates the American people, they want to see action and appreciate passion, we should all be passionate about things but be respectful and loving at the same time, which is exactly who I am,” he said. 

Burnett again disagreed and said that she would take issue with “heckling” someone while talking to reporters. 

“I don’t to keep belaboring the point, but I’m saying, talking over someone, and yelling, heckling them when they’re talking to reporters, it is not exactly respectful, I understand you stand by it, I get it, but I would take issue with it being respectful, but I understand, I understand. I respect your point of view,” she said.

Bowman and Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., engaged in a heated and loud debate about gun violence in the halls of Congress in March. 

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