CNN anchor left speechless after GOP lawmaker claims gutting ethics panel is 'draining the swamp'
Alisyn Camerota and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (CNN)

A CNN anchor was left speechless after a Republican lawmaker claimed that weakening a nonpartisan ethics watchdog and placing it under congressional control was "draining the swamp."


Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) appeared Tuesday morning on "New Day" to discuss the measure, which requires the Office of Congressional Ethics to issue its reports to the lawmakers it's tasked with investigating instead of releasing them directly to the public.

"Any time you can provide more accountability and more transparency to any process that is in place, then you're going to take another step toward draining the swamp," Blackburn said, echoing a campaign promise by Donald Trump. "I am all for draining the swamp. I think that anyone who knows me knows that I've spent much of my career on reducing the size, the scope and the cost of the federal government, and in its place putting transparency and accountability."

CNN's Alisyn Camerota said, if she's worried about transparency, that Blackburn should understand why Democrats were concerned that the measure was passed without their input during a nighttime, closed-door meeting.

"Most people would say 5 o'clock in the afternoon is not at night," Blackburn said, shrugging. "We could discuss that. It does start getting dark outside."

Blackburn suggested congressional Democrats were hypocrites for holding a private strategy session with President Barack Obama.

"The Democrats have their meeting behind closed doors also, and on Wednesday, when the president comes to talk to them about how to fight against the repeal of Obamacare, they're going to do that one behind closed doors," Blackburn said, punctuating her attack with a wink.

Camerota watched in stunned silence as Blackburn continued with a half-hearted defense of the GOP's actions.

"The conferences meet together in a room, and that is where they have their conference meetings," Blackburn said. "Each conference does that, and it is bipartisan and it is bicameral."