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McSally dismisses calls to apologize to CNN's Raju for 'liberal hack' comment: 'Called it like it is'
Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) dismissed a call by CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer to apologize to network congressional correspondent Manu Raju for calling him a "liberal hack" on Thursday, telling Fox News host Laura Ingraham she "called it like it is."
The back-and-forth comes after McSally, when asked earlier in the day by Raju about new claims that President Trump was involved in a Ukraine pressure campaign, referred to the reporter as a "liberal hack." The retort came as Raju asked her the question while she was walking through a hallway in Congress.
"Senator, do you regret what you said?" asked Ingraham.
"No Laura, I do not," McSally replied. "And I said it again actually as I went, I said, 'You're a liberal hack, buddy.'"
"As you know, these CNN reporters, there's so many of them around the capital, they are so biased, they are so in cahoots with the Democrats, they so can't stand the president, and they run around trying to chase Republicans and ask trapping questions," McSally, the first female commander of a United States Air Force fighter squadron, continued.
"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 added. "They're cheerleading the Democrats, they hate the president."
Earlier Thursday, Blitzer interviewed Raju on "CNN Newsroom," where the anchor called McSally's rhetoric "disgusting" while urging her to personally call Raju to apologize.
"Instead of answering a fair question, she simply called you a 'liberal hack.' It was disgusting, it was awful," Blitzer said while talking to Raju. "She should know better. Certainly, you're one of the most respected congressional reporters up on Capitol Hill."
After playing video of the exchange, Blitzer asked Raju, "I take it she or her staff, no one has reached out to apologize to you, have they?"
"I have not heard from them at all," Raju replied.
"If they did the right thing, she would personally call you," Blitzer said.
McSally, who faces a tough reelection this year, later promoted the exchange in a fundraising email.