CNN anchor blasts contributor Sean Duffy over 'anti-immigrant bigotry'

CNN anchor Brianna Keilar blasted former Rep. Sean DuffySean DuffyOn The Money: Trump seeks to shift spotlight from impeachment to economy | Appropriators agree to Dec. 20 funding deadline | New study says tariffs threaten 1.5M jobs Ex-Rep. Duffy to join lobbying firm BGR Trump's defenders are running out of options MORE (R-Wisc.), himself a CNN contributor, on Tuesday after he suggested Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who fled Ukraine as a child, was motivated by "an affinity" for his "homeland."

"That is some anti-immigrant bigotry, and it’s an odd questioning of patriotism coming from Sean Duffy, the guy who spent part of his 20s on MTV's 'The Real World' and 'Real World/Road Rules Challenge,'" Keilar said Tuesday, contrasting Duffy’s career with that of Vindman, a Purple Heart recipient who served in Iraq. 

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The remarks, Keilar said, were “a sign of how desperate some of the president’s backers are as they try to defend him against what Vindman, perhaps the most credible and knowledgeable witness so far, has to tell Congress.”

Duffy’s fellow contributor Jeffrey Toobin also blasted Duffy’s remarks, calling them "insanity and, frankly, anti-immigrant bigotry."

In an interview Tuesday morning, Duffy suggested Vindman’s Ukrainian background influenced his testimony to the House committees. Vindman had twice voiced concerns about a phone conversation in which President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 2020 Dems put focus on stemming veteran suicides MORE’s son Hunter Biden.

"It seems very clear that he is incredibly concerned about Ukrainian defense," Duffy said. "I don't know that he's concerned about American policy. ... We all have an affinity to our homeland, where we came from. ... He has an affinity, I think, for the Ukraine," he continued.

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyLawmakers call for extra security for anti-Erdoğan protesters  Live updates on impeachment: Schiff fires warning at GOP over whistleblower Overnight Defense: Protests at Trump's NYC Veterans Day speech | House Dems release Pentagon official's deposition transcript | Lawmakers ask Trump to rescind Erdogan invite MORE (R-Wyo.) also condemned the remarks, saying Tuesday that it was “shameful” to question “the patriotism [and] the dedication to country of people like Mr. Vindman, Lt. Col. Vindman, who will be coming today, and others who have testified.”

Duffy attempted to defend the remarks on Twitter on Tuesday, tweeting, “My point is that Mr. Vindman is an unelected advisor, he gives ADVICE. President Trump sets the policy.”