Former Republican New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu accepted an invitation to appear on CNN’s “New Day” program Monday morning to share memories and reflections of Arizona Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who passed away from brain cancer on Saturday.
“New Day” host Alisyn Camerota (shown above left) eventually turned the subject matter to President Donald Trump.
At that point, the sparks were soon flying, as Camerota pressed Sununu (above right) on Trump’s lack of an official White House statement on the passing of McCain, who served for decades in government and also served his country in the U.S. Navy.
Sununu, his expression alternately amused and annoyed, wasn’t having it — and he jabbed back at the host.
“That was printed in The Washington Post,” Sununu said. “And I have to be honest with you, I don’t give much credence to what I read …”
Camerota interrupted him, saying that CNN had confirmed the information.
“We also have that reporting,” she said.
Sununu laughed and then said, “Yeah, well, same thing applies, Alisyn.”
And so began the tense back-and-forth, with neither giving up ground to the other.
“Governor,” Camerota said, drawing a breath and then taking a very lengthy pause, “you come on CNN, and we appreciate you coming on CNN and we appreciate your take on it. But I don’t appreciate you denigrating our reporting. We have excellent reporters here.”
The two continued arguing.
But Camerota became frustrated as Sununu repeatedly refused to engage further with her.
“You asked me to come on to talk about John McCain,” he said.
“I’m here to talk about John McCain as I remember him,” he continued. “I’m not here to talk about the press’s handling of a difference between the White House and the press corps at this time.”
“It’s not the press’s handling; it’s President Trump’s handling of John McCain’s death,” said Camerota icily.
“Look, John McCain was a great American who deserves to be recognized as a great American. He is being recognized by his colleagues and his friends,” explained Sununu patiently.
He added, “Melania Trump has certainly put out an exceptionally strong statement, outlining the appreciation for his service. The White House has recognized the sorrow of the family, and I think Americans ought to be looking at the positive side, not trying to create a division amongst people who are in joint sorrow, mourning a great American.”
Watch the fireworks in the video below.