An MSNBC panel quickly deteriorated on Saturday after Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz and Democratic Senate candidate Richard Painter got into a heated dispute and began slinging accusations at each other.
The two panelists initially clashed over Dershowitz’s negative characterization of Robert Mueller, but the disagreement soon turned into personal attacks.
Dershowitz noted “two tragedies” with regard to the Mueller investigation.
“One, the way the White House has behaved and second, the way Mueller, who has a mixed reputation when I was in Boston with regard to four innocent people who spent their life and two of them died in jail — ” Dershowitz said, before Painter interrupted him.
“That is not true. You cannot say that, professor. That’s a lie,” said Painter, who has made a name for himself with his hysterical attacks on President Donald Trump. “Do not assault his reputation. That’s just not true.”
“Then let me assault your reputation,” Dershowitz fired back. “Let me talk about your reputation. Painter is trying to turn — parlay his anti-Trump zealotry into a position.”
The conversation further deteriorated from there, as Dershowitz — who was hard to hear because of a spotty Skype connection — accused Painter of lying “repeatedly about my background and expertise,” while Painter continued accusing the professor of smearing Mueller.
Painter at one point accused Dershowitz of “assaulting the reputation of Robert Mueller, a good American.”
Dershowitz’s reply: “He may be, but you are not, sir.”
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