Rep. Eric Swalwell defended his appearance on Fox News by revealing it is the “only way my parents will see me on TV.”
The California Democrat and former 2020 contender was forced to defend himself while speaking to CNN‘s Chris Cuomo Thursday just as President Trump unleashed his criticism on the “loser” and Fox News for giving him any airtime.
Following EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland’s impeachment testimony earlier Wednesday, Swalwell spoke with Fox News’ Shannon Bream about the hearing while, not surprisingly, criticizing the president. Trump took note of the segment and slammed the network and the Democrat in a tweet.
Why do @ShannonBream & @FoxNews waste airtime on Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell, who recently left the Presidential Primaries having attained a grand number of ZERO in the polls. I don’t even know how that is possible. Fox should stay with the people that got them there, not losers!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2019
Swalwell was asked about his decision to be interviewed on Fox News as well as his reaction to Trump’s tweet.
“You got to the president this morning. He’s talking about you,” Cuomo said before reading Trump’s remarks.
“It’s news to me,” the lawmaker laughed.
“What does that tell you about how the president sees that outlet and sees the dialogue you’re all engaged in?” the CNN host asked.
“First off, I have to go on that other network. It’s the only way my parents will see me on TV,” he joked, laughing it up with Cuomo.
He went on to slam the president in tone-deaf remarks, calling on the commander-in-chief to focus on more important issues, even though it is Democrats who are keeping the nation from moving ahead on priorities with their partisan witch hunt against Trump.
“He’s clearly not working. You know, he should not just be focused on this impeachment inquiry. There’s other work he can be doing on gun violence, healthcare, prescription drugs,” Swalwell told Cuomo as he went on to tout the House impeachment inquiry.
“This investigation is entirely driven by firsthand accounts of people who had the courage to come forward. We have no documents and we are as far as we are,” declared, clearly ignoring the number of witnesses who have come before the House Intelligence Committee with anything but first-hand accounts of what transpired in Trump’s July phone conversation with Ukraine’s president.
Despite Trump’s criticism, Swalwell’s appearance on Fox News did have some heated moments as Bream grilled the California congressman about the withheld U.S. military aid to Ukraine.
“There was no announcement of an investigation, there was nothing that Ukraine did in advance of getting the aid and the conditions for the meetings and those kinds of things, so where does that take you with a quid pro quo argument?” she asked Swalwell.
He argued that she was wrong and claimed: “the only reason aid was released was because of the whistleblower came forward.”
“You call it a shakedown call but let’s remember that President Zelensky has publicly said numerous times he felt no pressure, did not feel anything from that call that would amount to pressure, bribery, to a quid pro quo,” Bream countered.
“He was a new president who needed a meeting with the United States and people in Ukraine were dying every day that they did not have that assistance,” Swalwell said.
“That is something that there will be a factual dispute about because there’s testimony as well that there was no gap in the aid. It was going to be produced by September 30th, that was the hold, that was the plan,” Bream told the congressman.
“That is false,” Swalwell argued. “Ambassador Taylor testified that undoubtedly Ukrainians were dying because of not having the assistance that they needed.”
“Well, it was due by September 30th, got there before that,” Bream fired back.
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