Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) says that CNN canceled a scheduled interview with him and instead invited Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), after a contentious interview on the network earlier in the day.
The story: Donalds on Thursday announced that he would be making an appearance on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” show with host Chris Cuomo, describing it as a “don’t miss interview.”
Later in the day, Donalds tweeted that the network canceled his interview.
“I’ve been BUMPED from tonight’s show, Russian collusion, ‘Trump’s a Russian agent’ @AdamSchiff took my place. I’m not surprised. Someone has to tell Chris I’m better for ratings,” Donalds tweeted.
Meanwhile, the official account for Cuomo’s show shared the news of the California Democrat’s appearance on CNN.
“Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff will join @chriscuomo following bombshell New York Times reporting that the Trump DOJ subpoenaed Schiff’s data and the data of his House Intelligence Committee aides in 2017 and 2018,” the “Cuomo Prime Time” Twitter account wrote.
How we got here: Donalds already appeared on CNN early Thursday to discuss the Congressional Black Caucus’s lack of response to his interest to join the group.
Donalds told “New Day” anchor Brianna Keilar that his office has “not really heard much from the CBC” in the months since he said he wanted to join the caucus.
“I have a perspective being a 42-year-old Black man who’s come up in America after a lot of the battles through the civil rights movement that I think would actually be helpful and a helpful perspective to the CBC,” Donalds said. “Whether they want to take advantage of that is really up to them.”
At one point in the interview, Keilar pressed the Republican lawmaker on his past support for former President Trump and certain voting rights bills, suggesting this may be part of the reason why the CBC has not welcomed him yet.
Keilar even played clips of President Trump and asked Donalds if his “defense of a person that says things like that might be incongruent of the mission of the CBC.”
“First of all, whatever the president said in the past has nothing to do with this discussion at all. I think it’s important to understand that –” Donalds said before Keilar cut him off to highlight that Donalds “defended” Trump.
Donalds asked the CNN host not to interrupt him while he’s speaking and said: “As a Black man in America, I’m allowed to have my own thoughts on who I choose to support and who I choose not to support.”
“There is no doubt white liberals can’t comprehend how [B]lack people could be Republicans, especially Trump supporters, so I wouldn’t say that was surprising it was just publicized. She also was obviously justifying the CBC for denying my boss, but that was also not a surprise,” Donalds’ communications director Harrison Fields later said in a statement to Fox News.
“The bar isn’t very high for those on CNN. They usually aren’t interested in telling the truth. They are solely focused on their narrative, which, since Trump has been out of the White House, has been to continue to demean and damage his reputation,” Fields added.
After the interview, Donalds reiterated why he believes the CDC should accept him as a member in a tweet.
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