Veteran Crenshaw warns panel not to refer to Trump ‘attacks’ because ‘I was literally attacked’

Veteran Crenshaw warns panel not to refer to Trump ‘attacks’ because ‘I was literally attacked’
© Greg Nash

Rep.-elect Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), a former Navy SEAL, on Sunday warned a CBS News panel against referring to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump directed Cohen to lie to Congress about plans to build Trump Tower in Moscow during 2016 campaign: report DC train system losing 0k per day during government shutdown Senate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees MORE's "attacks" on the press, saying, "I was literally attacked."

"Let's choose our words carefully," Crenshaw said during a heated debate over whether Trump "undermines democracy" with his "attacks" on the news media.

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"I would argue that our president is consistently disruptive in ... press conferences, and I would argue that he treats [the press] with disrespect," Rep.-elect Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.) said, arguing that the president sets a bad precedent for how to treat the media.

"But how is that an attack on the press though?" Crenshaw asked.

"Because it’s literally an attack on the press," Houlahan said. 

Before she could expand, Crenshaw interjected, "Oh, I’ve literally been attacked. So — let’s choose our words carefully." 

Crenshaw wears an eyepatch because of an injury he sustained while serving in Afghanistan.

Houlahan did not address Crenshaw's point directly, continuing, "His language is an attack."  

The Texas Republican has enjoyed some limelight over the past several weeks after comedian Pete Davidson mocked his eyepatch on "Saturday Night Live" during a segment about the midterm elections. Crenshaw appeared on the show the next week to accept Davidson's apology and make a plea for civility and understanding, particularly toward veterans. 

The CBS panel came on the heels of a week in which a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to reinstate press credentials for Jim Acosta, CNN's chief White House correspondent. The White House pulled his press pass after the president and Acosta tangled verbally during a press briefing. 

Many news organizations filed amicus briefs in support of CNN, saying the White House should not be make itself gatekeeper over which reporters cover its activities. 

"The ability of the press to question vigorously and regularly elected officials and to report freely on the activities of these officials is fundamental to our democracy," the White House Correspondents' Association said in its filing