CNN anchor confronts GOP chairman over senator's vote to convict Trump

CNN host John Berman on Tuesday accused the chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party of "canceling" Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrLara Trump leads GOP field in North Carolina Senate race, poll shows Former North Carolina governor set to launch Senate bid North Carolina mayor Rett Newton launches Senate bid MORE (R-N.C.) over his vote to convict former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to move ahead with billion UAE weapons sale approved by Trump Fox News hires high-profile defense team in Dominion defamation lawsuit Associate indicted in Gaetz scandal cooperating with DOJ: report MORE for inciting a mob to attack the Capitol.

"We hear a lot from people in the Republican Party about cancel culture," Berman said to North Carolina Republican chair Michael Whatley during an interview on "New Day" on Tuesday. "You know, you are canceling Richard Burr for his impeachment vote, which he says was a vote of conscious."

The North Carolina state GOP has censured Burr over his vote. Burr was one of seven Senate Republicans who voted to convict Trump. 


Whatley rejected Berman's assertion, saying the "cancel culture" that conservatives often decry as it relates to their perceived censorship of Trump and other controversial Republican ideology is "entirely different" than the party's decision to censure Burr. 

Burr is retiring at the end of this election cycle. 

His vote to convict Trump was somewhat of a surprise, since he had twice voted with other Republicans to find the impeachment trial of the former president unconstitutional. 


Burr said that he believed the Senate in voting that it was constitutional had created a precedent for the trial and that the evidence presented argued strongly for Trump's conviction.

"The evidence is compelling that President Trump is guilty of inciting an insurrection against a coequal branch of government and that the charge rises to the level of high Crimes and Misdemeanors," Burr said of his vote. 

The state Republican Party voted hours later to censure Burr, issuing a formal condemnation of his decision. 

"Tonight, the North Carolina Republican Party Central Committee (NCGOP) voted unanimously to censure Senator Richard Burr for his vote to convict former President Trump in the impeachment trial which he declared to be unconstitutional," it said

Burr called the vote a "sad day for North Carolina Republicans." 

In the CNN interview, Berman told Whatley: "You're canceling him because of that vote." 

"We're not canceling anything," Whatley responded. "We're saying we disagree with one particular vote." 

Several other state Republican parties have voted to censure other GOP senators who voted with Democrats and against Trump. 

The former president narrowly won the Tar Heel State in the November presidential election, and the state's other Republican senator, Thom Tillis, was reelected. Tillis voted to acquit Trump.