GOP Sen. Facing Tough Election Takes Trumpy Victory Lap After Calling Reporter A Hack

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 15: Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., walks back to the Senate through the Rotunda after attending the Congressional Gold Medal Award Ceremony for former NFL player Steve Gleason in Statuary Hall ... UNITED STATES - JANUARY 15: Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., walks back to the Senate through the Rotunda after attending the Congressional Gold Medal Award Ceremony for former NFL player Steve Gleason in Statuary Hall in the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) MORE LESS
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ), who faces a tough election fight in 2020, took a campaign victory lap Thursday after calling a CNN reporter a hack.

The day started with a straightforward question from CNN’s Manu Raju, who approached McSally in a Senate hallway just hours after hundreds of pages of records from Lev Parnas’ iPhone were released publicly by congressional investigators.

“Sen. McSally, should the Senate consider new evidence as part of the impeachment trial?” he asked.

“Manu, you’re a liberal hack,” McSally replied. “I’m not talking to you.”

Raju asked if she would comment at all.

“You’re a liberal hack,” McSally repeated as she walked out of sight.

McSally’s staffer was apparently recording the exchange, which the senator posted on her official Twitter page within an hour.

Then, the campaigning began.

Within an hour of the video hitting Twitter, Politico’s Kyle Cheney noted, McSally’s campaign had reserved the domain name — prime real estate.

The site features a shirt with the senator’s phrase, a gift for those who donate $35 or more to her campaign. It has a ’70s vibe.

McSally for U.S. Senate

President Trump’s campaign, of course, endorsed McSally’s remark. They also tweeted a link to her campaign donation page:

By Thursday evening, McSally appeared on Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s show to talk about the viral video hit. Ingraham’s is the fourth most watched cable news show in the country, according to Nielsen data released in December, with 2.567 million total viewers last year.

“Do you regret what you said?” Ingraham asked, dead panning.

“Uh, no Laura, I do not. And I said it again, actually, as I went in. I said, you’re a liberal hack buddy!” the senator responded gleefully.

Notably, though, McSally refused to answer a question similar to Raju’s, when Ingraham asked whether she would vote to hear witnesses at the impeachment trial.

“We’re going to get to that,” McSally said, dodging. “I’m not going to tell everybody what all my votes are going to be.”

McSally may face off against the former astronaut Mark Kelly in 2020 — the primary elections are in August. Kelly, husband of former congresswoman and shooting survivor Gabby Giffords, has a big cash lead over McSally.

The senator, who was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2014, unsuccessfully ran for Senate in 2018 against Arizona’s other current senator, Kyrsten Sinema. McSally ultimately did reach the Senate — after she was appointed by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) to fill the late Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) vacant Senate seat, which had been temporarily filled by John Kyl.

Notably, McSally took a couple of veiled swipes at McCain toward the end of his life. The late senator was well-known for joking around with members of the press, including Raju. So when CNN’s Jake Tapper asked an unnamed McCain family member what they thought of the “hack” hubbub, they were blunt: “There’s no love lost between our family and her.”

Latest News

Notable Replies

  1. Avatar for tpr tpr says:

    The political theater produced by Late Capitalism’s adherents isn’t very good.

  2. Ingraham Angle, 4th most watch cable news show with 2.5 million viewers. And those viewers are dying off as I type.

  3. Avatar for rptwiz rptwiz says:

    This is so good for McSally’s opponent I’m amazed she would behave this way! And he’s an astronaut! This kind of temperament from McSally doesn’t earn her any new friends, even in Arizona. She tried the base-only approach in 2018, and lost. Arizona is changing and while there is a LARGE chunk of very conservative voters, the energy in is progressive constituencies. So she need independents and swing voters to find a path to victory, and she just showed she doesn’t think that will work so she’s decided to maximize her base appeal and let swing voters go to the astronaut husband of Gabby Giffords.

  4. Shes an intellectual light weight and should get trounced by Mark Kelly, a REAL American hero.

Continue the discussion at

101 more replies


Avatar for jootjoint Avatar for daveminnj Avatar for littlegirlblue Avatar for mondfledermaus Avatar for trnc Avatar for steviedee111 Avatar for becca656 Avatar for carlosfiance Avatar for ralph_vonholst Avatar for lastroth Avatar for califdemdreamer Avatar for hoagie Avatar for darrtown Avatar for benthere Avatar for sharong Avatar for jonney_5 Avatar for birdford Avatar for dannydorko Avatar for kelaine Avatar for the_loan_arranger Avatar for csurz420 Avatar for dicktater Avatar for Bri2k Avatar for Psych

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: