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Don Lemon shouts down CNN commentator on activist 'mob' definition: 'Shut up!'

CNN anchor Don Lemon told network contributor Matt Lewis to "shut up" late Tuesday during an explosive debate over what constitutes a "mob" in light of Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzNoisy democracy, or rude people behaving like children? Democrats hold fading odds of winning Senate this November Donald Trump Jr. emerges as GOP fundraising force MORE (R-Texas) and his wife being chased out of a restaurant.

The back-and-forth came hours after anchor Brooke Baldwin tangled with Lewis and fellow CNN contributor Mary Katherine Ham over whether protesters should be labeled as a mob, with Baldwin telling both she wanted to "move past the M-word" because it is "part of the weaponization of what’s happening now on the right."

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Lewis was invited on Lemon's show, "CNN Tonight," to continue the conversation, where the conservative Daily Beast columnist made the point that the Tea Party "didn't hound people out of restaurants" as was the case with Cruz last month or Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTop Judiciary Dems call for unredacted 'zero tolerance' memo The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Dem path to a Senate majority narrows Hillicon Valley: Officials warn of Chinese influence efforts | Dow drops over 800 points | Tech stocks hit hard | Google appeals B EU fine | James Murdoch may be heading for Tesla | Most Americans worried about election security MORE over the summer.

“The Tea Party did hound people. The Tea Party people hounded me when I went out to cover them!” Lemon shot back. “And do you know what I said? It was their right to do it because they’re Americans!”

“Don, if they started following you around a restaurant and running you out of places,” Lewis replied.

“But that doesn’t mean that people don’t get to object,” Lemon interrupted. “That’s your right as an American to object. It’s covered in the First Amendment. It’s like the first one!”

After some extended verbal volleying over the proper definition of a mob, Lemon lost his patience.

"Will you let me finish? Matt, please! Let me finish," Lemon exclaimed.

"Bring it on. Mind if I have a drink?" Lewis asked.

"You can do whatever you want. You can leave the show if you want," Lemon replied.

"I’m not going to do that," Lewis said.

"Shut up and let me do it," Lemon said.

"Thank you very much," the anchor continued. "In the Constitution, you can protest whenever and wherever you want. It doesn’t tell you that you can’t do it in a restaurant, that you can’t do it on a football field. It doesn’t tell you that you can’t do it on a cable news you can do it wherever you want."

"To call people mobs because they are exercising their constitutional right is just beyond the pale," Lemon concluded before going to break.