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NSA plaintiff Larry Klayman skewers CNN’s Don Lemon after the CNN host tried to have him booted from a segment over the NSA killer’s comments.
From video: On Tuesday night’s Erin Burnett guest hosted by Don Lemon, conservative legal activist Larry Klayman battled Don and legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin when he was brought on to discuss his victory this week in a lawsuit challenging NSA surveillance. And it resulted in Lemon cutting him off the screen and Klayman comparing Lemon to disgraced former MSNBC host Martin Bashir.
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“I think it is important to note that you’re a big supporter of Obama,” Klayman said to Lemon. “That you have favored him in every respect. You have to try to do a hit piece to diminish a very important decision.”
Lemon interjected to clarify that Klayman was speaking about him personally, saying, “None of that is true, but go on.”
“Well, it is true. I’ve watched you for many years. You’re an ultra-leftist and you’re a big supporter of Obama,” Klayman said. “Let’s talk about the NSA, let’s not talk about Larry Klayman. This victory is for the American people. It wasn’t for me. And you, as somebody from the left … should appreciate that you don’t have a police state in this country that’s going to be able to intimidate Americans to chill their free speech rights.”
Lemon again protested the characterization, saying that only he knows his political affiliation, over interruptions from Klayman, prompting the host to threaten to cut Klayman’s mic. He then brought on Toobin, CNN’s legal analyst, who slammed Klayman as a “lunatic.”
“This case is based on Larry Klayman’s tin-foil hat paranoia about the NSA being after him. He had some fantasy that the NSA was after him. This case is not about Larry Klayman, it’s about the metadata program that affects everybody, but the idea that Larry Klayman is the representative is simply outrageous,” Toobin said. “He is a professional litigant and lunatic who should not be a representative of the very important issues of this case.”
Klayman responded that Toobin should read the opinion and what the judge wrote.
“It’s not about me, Jeffrey, and the fact that you want to try to do a hit on me shows me that you’re not a serious person and, frankly, should not be doing legal commentary for CNN,” Klayman said. “I think you should read the complaint rather than shooting your mouth off. … This is a disgrace.”
“Oh, my gosh. Are you OK?” Lemon asked Klayman. The pair began to argue, and Lemon asked his producers to remove Klayman from the screen.
After allowing Toobin to speak about the case, Lemon brought Klayman in for the last word “to show you we’re going to be the bigger person.”
“The last word is you’re not the bigger people. Don’t kid anybody,” Klayman said. “Let anybody watch this and see that CNN removes you from the screen when it doesn’t like what you think. You know what, you’re not CNN, Don, and Toobin, you’re not CNN. CNN is a reputable organization, but you have not acted in a respectful way, and it’s in fact disgraceful. You’re more like Martin Bashir.”
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