Sean Duffy riles CNN viewers in new role as commentator: ‘Another Trump apologist’

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Sean Duffy has joined CNN — and viewers and fellow commentators haven’t welcomed him with open arms.

A month after resigning from Congress to spend more time with his wife, fellow Real World alum, Rachel Campos-Duffy and their now nine children, Duffy joined “the CNN family” as a conservative contributor to the network, Jake Tapper announced on Sunday’s State of the Union.

The Trump loyalist’s debut was rough-going, however. “Let me speak,” he said at one point during a segment as fellow contributor Jen Psaki, the former White House communications director in the Obama administration, called him out for being “factually wrong” and peddling an “absurd conspiracy theory.”

During that exchange, Duffy had argued that Trump should push for an investigation into whether Ukrainian nationals were in possession of a computer server belonging to the Democratic National Committee. However, the server conspiracy theory was previously debunked. Duffy ultimately acknowledged that it “may be” debunked, but continued to insist it should still be investigated anyway. That led to another panelist Amanda Carpenter dismissing the notion as pointless “because we already know what happened.”

Sean Duffy has joined CNN as a commentator, making his debut on Sunday's "State of the Union." (Screenshot: CNN)

While he took some hits, Duffy was back for more on Monday’s New Day, during which he defended the president for suggesting the G-7 summit take place at Trump National Doral. Duffy argued that the Trump family has “lost money” since the president was elected — pointing to Nordstrom no longer selling Ivanka’s shoe line — and that he didn’t have “a problem with the policy behind” the decision to host world leaders at his facility. In contrast, former GOP Rep. Charlie Dent, a fellow guest, called Trump’s idea "an ethical train wreck."

Duffy’s positions defending Trump haven’t endeared him to some viewers of CNN, who have been vocal on social media. After being called out on-air for advocating an “absurd conspiracy theory,” he’s been likened by more than one to right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

While some people say they welcome differing viewpoints on the network, they don’t think Duffy fits the bill. One person said he is functioning “purely as a Trump apologist and mouthpiece.”

Of course, Duffy has supporters too.

Since Trump has been in office, he has had a contentious relationship with CNN and many other outlets calling them “fake news” and “lamestream media.” Lawyers for the president and his reelection campaign recently threatened in a letter to sue the network for what they said was the network falsely advertising itself as a news organization.

Duffy announced in August he was leaving Congress — he represented Wisconsin’s 7th District — ahead of the birth of his 9th child with his Real World love wife Campos-Duffy. The baby girl, Valentina StellaMaris, who arrived earlier this month, was born with Down syndrome and a heart defect. Duffy said the child “will need even more love, time, and attention,” leading him to pull back from politics.

Campos-Duffy, who hosts Fox Nation’s Moms, shared the news of the baby’s arrival on Oct. 7 calling the child “the sweetest, most perfect angel we have ever seen.”

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