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Bill Kristol on McSally calling CNN reporter a liberal hack: 'I guess I'm liberal'

Former "Weekly Standard" founder Bill Kristol defended CNN's congressional reporter Manu Raju on Friday, with Kristol stating that "if it’s liberal to hold public officials in our liberal democracy accountable for doing their job" then he guesses "he's liberal."

The commentary from Kristol comes one day after Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyCindy McCain on possible GOP censure: 'I think I'm going to make T-shirts' Arizona state GOP moves to censure Cindy McCain, Jeff Flake Trump renominates Judy Shelton in last-ditch bid to reshape Fed MORE (R-Ariz.), after being asked by Raju whether she wanted new evidence against President TrumpDonald TrumpCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Azar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments Justice Dept. argues Trump should get immunity from rape accuser's lawsuit MORE to be considered as part of his impeachment trial, refused to answer the question while calling him a “liberal hack.”

Kristol, a staunch online critic of  Trump going back to the early days of his candidacy, criticized McSally for taking "high fives" from conservatives over the encounter.

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"McSally calling a reporter a 'liberal hack' for asking a question, and then taking high fives from today’s 'conservatives' for doing so, tempts me to say: If it’s liberal to hold public officials in our liberal democracy accountable for doing their job, then I guess I’m liberal," Kristol tweeted.

McSally, who faces a tough reelection this year, later promoted the exchange in a fundraising email and is selling T-shirts quoting her exchange with Raju that say, "You're a liberal hack, buddy,"

 

Several of Raju's CNN colleagues have defended Raju, most notably anchor Wolf Blitzer.

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"Instead of answering a fair question, she simply called you a ‘liberal hack.’ It was disgusting, it was awful," Blitzer said on air while talking to Raju on Thursday evening. "She should know better. Certainly, you’re one of the most respected congressional reporters up on Capitol Hill."

"If they did the right thing, she would personally call you," Blitzer later added.

McSally dismissed calls for her to apologize during an interview with Fox News host Laura IngrahamLaura Anne IngrahamFox News to revamp daytime programming, replace 7 pm news hour with opinion show Sacking the Capitol proves free speech is in trouble FBI: No evidence antifa involved in Capitol riot MORE on Thursday night.

“I’m a fighter pilot, you know. I called it like it is, and that’s what we see out of the mainstream media, especially CNN, every single day, so obviously I’m going to tell the truth, and I did it today and it’s laughable how they’ve responded," she said on "The Ingraham Angle." "They're cheerleading the Democrats, they hate the president."