Tennessee House Republican Caucus chair Jeremy Faison abruptly ended a CNN interview after a contentious exchange over the expulsion of two Democratic members of the state House.
The two expelled lawmakers, Representatives Justin Pearson and Justin Jones, both Black, were removed for participating in a gun-control protest on the House floor, which was held after a mass shooting at a school that left six people dead. The protest caused an uproar, with Republican legislators accusing the Democrats of violating House rules by disrupting the proceedings.
CNN's Van Jones questioned Faison over the expulsion of the two Black lawmakers and asked why the House didn't go through the Ethics Committee or "due process." Faison claimed that the House followed the rules before Jones demanded more answers.
Jones asked why they didn't go to the Ethics Committee and why they were being unreasonable, to which Faison replied that they didn't "want to go that route." Faison then claimed that the three Democrats had "worked up" a crowd of protestors earlier in the day, which CNN correspondent Sara Sidner refuted.
Sidner said the protesters were already worked up because they wanted to see a safer place for their children and themselves.
Faison then abruptly ended the interview, citing his long commute home.
You can see the moment Faison walked off below.
Many have criticized Faison and Tennesee Republicans following the contentious interview.
Earlier, Democratic President Joe Biden called out Tennessee Republicans for expelling two Democratic lawmakers in a tweet decrying their decisison "Punishing lawmakers who joined thousands of peaceful protesters calling for action."
The lawmakers were among a group of legislators who joined the protest calling for stricter gun laws, but only two were expelled. Representative Gloria Johnson, who also participated in the demonstration, survived her vote.
Biden used the opportunity to once again call on Congress and state officials to pass a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, as well as other gun safety reforms, such as requiring safe storage of firearms and universal background checks for every gun purchase.
In a longer statement, he criticized Republicans for punishing their Democratic colleagues who "stood in solidarity with students and families and helped lift their voices."
He stressed that a majority of Americans "want lawmakers to act on commonsense gun safety reforms that we know will save lives" while "Republican officials across America double down on dangerous bills that make our schools, places of worship, and communities less safe."