POLITICS
09/13/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Rick Sanchez Battles Rep. Jackson-Lee Over Cell Phone Call (VIDEO)

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) went on CNN with Rick Sanchez to explain why she was talking on her cell phone during a town hall meeting. It turned out to be a tendentious exchange.

A video of Jackson-Lee talking on her cell phone during a town hall meeting, while a cancer survivor was asking a question, circulated on right-wing websites and media outlets Wednesday.

"She's not even listening," someone in the room says.

Another person is heard on tape saying, "Seriously? Really, I mean, come on. Dude."

The implication was that she was ignoring her constituents.

On CNN, Jackson-Lee put the entire scene in a different light -- but Sanchez seemed unconvinced.

Asked why she was on her cell phone, Jackson-Lee gave a somewhat long-winded answer -- leading Sanchez to cut her off and demand a response. Finally, she explained that she wasn't taking a phone call, she was calling a congressional hotline that helps lawmakers answer questions about health care.

"If it offended anyone it was through misinterpretation," She said. "The lady did not ask for an apology. We became good friends... no offense taken, no offense given."

Sanchez then asked Jackson-Lee to watch the video of the incident online, and comment on whether or not it had been doctored. She refused, saying "I know nothing about the video and I'm not going to comment on it." Still, Sanchez wanted to know why Jackson-Lee didn't just apologize for doing something "disrespectful." Jackson-Lee repeated that she was trying to get information for a constituent, so there was no reason to apologize.

Sanchez concluded by asking the lawmaker to agree that she "derailed the conversation" with this mini-controversy. Jackson-Lee, not surprisingly, disagreed.

Watch:

Meanwhile, the woman who was asking the question told Fox News' Greta van Susteren that Jackson-Lee appeared to be talking to her staff about local leaders coming into the town hall.

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