Tennessee Republican abruptly exits interview as CNN grills him over deportations
Tennessee state deputy Jeremy Faison (R), chairman of the state’s Republican caucus, made his way home after an irritated CNN interview about the GOP-led state house historic expulsion of two Democrats for taking part in a gun control protest. (See below.)
Faison appeared on the network Thursday after the State House expelled two Democrats — Rep. Justin Pearson and Justin Jones, both black — and allowed Rep. Glorida Johnson, who is white, to keep her seat. All three took part in a protest on the floor of the house After the shooting at Covenant School which killed six people, including three children, in Nashville last month.
CNN’s VanJones grilled Faison over the fall of the Democrats.
“Why didn’t you go to the ethics committee? Why didn’t you go through due process?” Jones asked.
“You don’t want them to be extreme, but you are extreme. Why this?”
Faison called out Jones for charges, claiming the house followed the rules before Jones demanded further answers.
“Were you on the ethics committee?” Jones asked.
“You know, 71 I think, or 70 of the members who, after looking at what happened today, voted to expel one of them,” Faison continued.
“Why didn’t you go to the ethics committee and do the things that are always done on that board… If you want respect and if you want people to be reasonable, why are you being so unreasonable?” Jones continued.
Faison said the House did not want to go down the path of ethics.
Faison said the three Democrats “worked up” a crowd of protesters earlier in the day. CNN correspondent Sara Sider pushed back on the demand.
“They were pretty excited because they love their state and they love their kids and they really want to see a safer place for the kids and for themselves,” Sidner said.
Faison then mentioned his three and a half hour commute home before abruptly ending the interview.
“Thank you for letting me speak to you, God bless you all,” he said as he shuffled off camera.