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

CNN anchor Brianna Keilar blasted former Rep. Sean DuffySean DuffyLobbying world CNN's Ana Navarro to host Biden roundtable on making 'Trump a one-term president' Bottom line 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 TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors Biden celebrates vaccine approval but warns 'current improvement could reverse' 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 CheneyMcCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 The Memo: CPAC fires starting gun on 2024 Trump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged 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.”