'What am I, Stalin?': GOP lawmaker snaps at CNN host after brutal grilling over voter suppression law
Briana Keilar and John Kavanaugh. (CNN screenshot)

On Friday morning, CNN "New Day" host Brianna Keilar confronted a GOP lawmaker from Arizona who was attempting to defend a new voting law in his state that will likely purge voters from the rolls. The clash led to the Republican to accuse her of treating him like "Stalin" and saying she was being ridiculous when she fact-checked him.

During the long interview, a portion of which can be viewed below, the CNN host put Arizona State Representative John Kavanaugh (R) on the spot over previous comments he made in early March when he blurted, "Not everybody wants to vote, and if somebody is uninterested in voting, that probably means that they're totally uninformed on the issues. Quantity is important, but we have to look at the quality of votes, as well."

That led to a testy exchange as the CNN host and the Republican lawmaker talked over each other, and Kavanaugh accusing Keilar of using "spin."

Things turned particularly contentious when they battled over what would happen to ballots belonging to military families who are registered in Arizona but may have been moved due to deployments. That was when Kavanaugh objected to Keilar's choice of words.

"You are really twisting the facts to make your point here, all they're doing is trying to --," Kavanaugh protested to which the CNN host cut in, "I'm talking about being purged from the early voting rolls. I'm talking about people who are purged from that early voting list."

"Can we use neutral names? They are being removed after multiple checks to make sure that they actually aren't there. They aren't being purged," he shot back.

"That is your -- that is how you describe it, sir, and we do appreciate you coming on," the CNN host replied.

"I'm not spinning it, I'm doing the truth," he complained.

"I'm not spinning it either," Keilar replied.

"Purge? What am I, Stalin?" he retorted. "Come on, don't be ridiculous. this is really -- this is why we can't have reasonable discussions across the political divide because everybody wants to throw gasoline on what should be a critical intellectual discussion."

"Sir, you're not being honest and what you're saying doesn't even line up with --" Keilar stated.

"When am I dishonest?" Kavanaugh interrupted.

"You talk about quality votes over quantity. I think that is loud and clear," Keilar replied.

Watch below:


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