Heller complains about media in Senate debate: 'You see how they treat Kanye West'

Heller complains about media in Senate debate: 'You see how they treat Kanye West'
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Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerThis week: Barr back in hot seat over Mueller report Trump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary MORE (R-Nev.) on Friday complained about the media during a Senate debate with his Democratic challenger Rep. Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenLawmakers introduce legislation to improve cyber workforce funding Dem lawmakers accuse DHS, HHS of giving them misleading information on family separations This week: Barr back in hot seat over Mueller report MORE, tying press coverage of Kanye West to issues of partisanship in Congress.

Heller, who was answering a question about the partisan divide in Congress, said the media is partly to blame for "head-butting in Congress."

"I do believe there is a lot of burden to share. You saw the Kavanaugh hearings. You saw how bad that got. I think both sides are to blame for this, but I also think the media has something to blame in this also," he said.

"We see how they treat Trump supporters, we see how they treat Kanye West when he goes into the White House. All of this leads to some real grinding and head-butting in Congress," Heller said.

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Heller was referring to media coverage of West's visit earlier this month to the Oval Office, where he met with President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' MORE.

West's comments inside the Oval Office generated significant media coverage. He spoke at length during the meeting, discussing subjects ranging from mental health, the 13th Amendment, the criminal justice system and a hydrogen-powered plane that he suggested should replace Air Force One. 

West also embraced Trump during the meeting, giving him a hug and saying, "I love this guy."

Heller's debate Friday with Rosen came less than three weeks ahead of next month's midterm elections. Heller is considered one of the most vulnerable incumbent Republicans, with polls showing a tight race and the nonpartisan Cook Political Report rating the race as a "toss-up."