A Republican congressman verbally sparred with a CNN host on Friday during a conversation about the federal debt ceiling and the looming prospect of the U.S. Treasury Department defaulting on its debts some time this summer.
An interview with Texas Rep. Pete Sessions got testy when CNN anchor Poppy Harlow began to drill the Republican congressman about the increasingly urgent prospect of defaulting on federal debts, which has become increasingly likely as Republican insistence on cutting costs and Democratic opposition to spending cuts have resulted in congressional gridlock on the subject of raising the debt ceiling.
“The fact that there is no agreement yet on what to do and how to raise the debt ceiling, you endorsed Donald Trump for president. I want to play for people what he said at CNN’s town hall this week about the debt ceiling and defaulting, followed by JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon reacting,” Harlow said.
Harlow was referring to comments made by President Trump at a CNN town hall event earlier this week in which the former president supported defaulting on federal debts if the only alternative allowed by Democrats is “spending money like a drunken sailor.” Dimon was publicly critical of Trump’s analysis, claiming that the millionaire real estate mogul “doesn’t know very much about” the debt ceiling.
“You would agree that a default is catastrophic for our economy, right?” Harlow continued as she addressed Sessions.
Sessions began to assent to Harlow’s remarks, before the CNN journalist interrupted his train of thought to pursue further a diatribe into Trump’s remarks.
“I would completely agree. And the value system here in Washington, D.C., has always recognized that. And President Trump did. President Biden is the first one—”
“That’s not what he said, respectfully, congressman,” Harlow interrupted. (Trump expressed an agnostic attitude towards defaulting, claiming that it could be “very bad” but also that it could be “maybe nothing.”)
“I disagreed with Donald Trump, do you want me to say that? I disagree with Donald Trump, he knows better,” Sessions retorted. “But when he was president, he negotiated to make sure that it was signed and done and gave the Democrats overwhelmingly $300 billion a year more to spend. So he did negotiate. He was successful in that. We need the same kind of statesmanship now.”
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