Former Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy made his debut on CNN on Sunday morning talking about Wisconsin with “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper:
“Thank you for being here and congratulations on joining the CNN family,” began Tapper by way of introduction.
Duffy has frequently taken on the role in state and national media of President Donald Trump’s defender, and he did it again on “State of the Union.” after others on the show suggested Trump is losing support.
“If you look at the Republican Party and Donald Trump, I mean, we have expanded the party so Donald Trump won Wisconsin — first time since, what, ’84? We won Michigan, we won Ohio. We’re winning the union voters, rural voters, we’re doing better than we ever have.
“Now, if you want to say we don’t do well in the coast, in New York, New England, in the west coast of California, yes, that is true but in the middle of America, where you actually have to keep the Senate and we have so many House seats we are doing incredibly well [but] the bottom line is we have a great, diverse party.
“We are the big tent party. We have pro-lifers, pro-choicers, we want — some who want open borders, some who want closed borders. We have a great debate and I think it only advances our ability to win elections in states in the middle of America.”
(Sidenote: Republicans won Wisconsin in a presidential election in 2016 with Trump for the first time since 1984.)
And within less than 24 hours of that first appearance, Duffy had other media outlets accusing him of advancing conspiracy theories, including this article from Raw Story.
“CNN announced on Sunday that former Congressman Sean Duffy, who quit Congress to take care of nine children, has joined the network as a political analyst. He spent his first appearance repeating Republican talking points and a wild conspiracy theory.
“During an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union program, Duffy defended President Donald Trump by bringing up the conspiracy theory that Ukraine has control of a Democratic Party server.
“‘Hold on a second!’ Duffy said in response to Republican analyst Amanda Carpenter, who argued that Trump can only blame himself if he gets impeached.
“‘We spent two years on a Russian investigation, right,’ he said. ‘And Democrats and the media were all about what happened in the 2016 election. What [White House chief of staff] Mick Mulvaney said … let’s get the server, the DNC server that had everything to do with the Russia investigation.’
“This is an absurd conspiracy theory!” contributor Jen Psaki interrupted. “What you’re stating is completely inaccurate and factually wrong.”
Another analysis of the encounter is here.
Duffy will now be on CNN while his wife, Rachel Campos-Duffy is a Fox Nation host and Fox News contributor. The couple had their ninth child earlier this month, born with medical complications that he said were the reason for his early departure from Congress.
Here is Duffy’s farewell announcement, posted to his Facebook page on Sept. 20, three days before his official announcement.