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Trump Campaign Threatens to Sue CNN Over ‘Unfair, Unfounded, Unethical and Unlawful Attacks’

President Trump’s reelection campaign sent a letter to CNN Friday threatening legal action against the network over its biased, unfair and possible unlawful coverage of the president.

In the letter, Trump attorney Charles Harder referenced recent sting videos from Project Veritas featuring a former staffer discussing CNN president Jeff Zucker’s “anti-Trump crusade.”

“Never in the history of this country has a President been the subject of such a sustained barrage of unfair, unfounded, unethical and unlawful attacks by so-called ‘mainstream’ news, as the current situation,” Harder wrote.

“Your own employees appear to state that CNN is focused on trying to ‘take down President Trump,’ driven by a ‘personal vendetta’ that Mr. Zucker purportedly has against him, rather than reporting the news in an objective manner,” writes Harder. “In the Footage, your employees appear to state that CNN attempts to make its reporting appear neutral and unbiased, when in fact its reporting is far from neutral and highly biased against the President.”

To highlight the network’s bias, Harder cited some of the allegations made by CNN staffers, including Zucker’s personal feud with Trump, the network’s obsessive focus on the ongoing House impeachment inquiry, and CNN’s hostile treatment towards Republicans who appear on the network.

“The aforementioned examples are merely the tip of the iceberg of the evidence my clients have accumulated over recent years,” Harder wrote. “We also expect substantial additional information about CNN’s wrongful practices to become known in the coming days and weeks.”

Harder went on to claim that CNN’s actions constitute a violation of the Lanham Act by making “misrepresentations to the public, your advertisers, and others.” The Lanham Act was enacted in 1946 and governs trademark use and false advertising.

Harder said his clients intend to seek “compensatory damages, treble damages, punitive damages, injunctive relief, reimbursement of legal costs and all other available legal and equitable remedies.”

CNN dismissed the lawsuit in a sneering statement on Friday.

“This is nothing more than a desperate PR stunt and doesn’t merit a response,” Matt Dornic, a spokesman for CNN, said in a statement.

Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe heralded Trump’s lawsuit threat on Twitter, noting that he has another CNN video coming out next week and it’s “a doozy.”

 

 

News

CNN Staffer: Our Obsessive Anti-Trump Coverage Won’t Stop Until Trump Dies

A new video released by Project Veritas Thursday shows CNN employees admitting on tape that the network peddles “a bunch of bullsh-t” and that it will not stop hammering the president “until he dies—hopefully soon.”

Part III of O’Keefe’s expose on CNN focuses on the network’s movement away from objective news-gathering towards partisan advocacy.

Once upon a time, CNN was respected as a serious, straight news outlet, but those days are long over, several CNN employees lamented on camera.

CNN insider Cary Poarch told O’Keefe, “I want to chase the facts, like the motto that CNN put out earlier this year, ‘the facts first,’ that’s what I want the news to be. That’s what it should be. That’s what it used to be.”

Multiple CNN staffers were secretly recorded voicing similar concerns.

CNN’s Manager of Field Operations Patrick Davis has been with the network for 25 years and has seen first-hand how its journalistic standards have slid.

“…I hate seeing what we were and what we could be and what we’ve become. It’s just awful…I mean, we could be so much better than what we are…And the buck stops with him (Zucker),” he said.

“I haven’t listened to a 9 AM call in about 15 years. I just stopped,” Davis complained. “Just, I can’t listen to it. It’s all bullsh-t. It’s all just a bunch of bullsh-t. And I wish that wasn’t the case.”

Scott Garber, Senior Field Engineer at CNN kvetched, “we used to cover news. We used to go out and do stories…But Trump is more important.”

Said Adia Jacobs, CNN Technical Operations Supervisor:“ When Zucker took over it wasn’t until Trump that we ended up being all Trump all the time.”

Nick Neville, CNN Media Coordinator complained, “he (Zucker) basically said f**k all the other stories.”

Said Mike Brevna, Floor Manager at CNN: It’s the Trump Network, dog. It’s like everything is all Trump…they not even thinking about anybody else. They sold themselves to the devil.”

CNN Media Coordinator Christian Sierra explained that the network’s desire for more “clicks” and “money” was behind a lot of its hyper-partisan reporting.

Gerald Sisnette, Field Production Supervisor at CNN suggested that “this story” (Trump’s presidency) would not go away until Trump dies. In other words, CNN won’t stop its obsessive anti-Trump coverage until the president is six feet under.

“This is a story that’s not gonna go away,” Sisnette said.

“Oh, the Ukraine thing, or Trump in general?” asked the undercover journalist.

“Trump in general,” Sisnette replied. “The only way this will go away is when he (Trump) dies. Hopefully soon.”

Steve Krakauer, a former Senior Digital Producer at CNN commented on Project Veritas’ CNN sting on Twitter:

“Lots to criticize CNN about, but Project Veritas has found basically nothing of interest,” he said. “Low-level staffers making off-hand comments is irrelevant, and if that’s all he has from the 9am calls, it shows a very well-run network saying things privately it essentially says publicly.”

But the point of these videos is to expose how extreme the bias at the network is (they won’t stop until the president is dead?!) and how their standards have severely declined in recent years.

Said O’Keefe:  “CNN has made a conscious decision to focus almost exclusively on the impeachment of President Trump at the expense of covering legitimate news around the world.”

News

Project Veritas: Zucker Coached Tapper to Badger Kellyanne Conway ‘to F-cking Nail Her’

A short clip released by Project Veritas Wednesday reveals how CNN president Jeff Zucker directed one of its top news personalities to relentlessly grill a Trump official during an interview.

Media Coordinator Christian Sierra divulged on tape that Zucker actually went into the control room while anchor Jake Tapper
was interviewing White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and told the executive producer to skip commercials and extend the seven minute interview to 25 minutes just to “f—king nail her.”

According to the staffer, Zucker excitedly coached Tapper “to keep going” during the interview and Tapper acquiesced.

“She was arguing back and forth with Tapper and Zucker told them in the ear piece to ‘keep going, keep going, keep going—don’t stop you guys,'” Sierra explained. In the interview, Tapper repeatedly accused President Trump of lying.

“I like the fact that you’re jamming her up” the Project Veritas journalist commented.

The CNN staffer seemed to have no problem that the segment had crossed the line from being a tough interview to maliciously badgering Conway.

“Because she deserves it!” Sierra exclaimed. “She’s lying all the time!” He added that it was an opportunity to “just f—ing nail her.”

Project Veritas released Part Two of their series on CNN’s “anti-Trump crusade” Tuesday, revealing how the network played favorites among the Democrat candidates on eve of debate.

Conservative muckraker James OKeefe said that he would release the full video for Part 3 on Thursday. In the meantime, he announced on Wednesday— that a GoFundMe for CNN whistleblower Cary Poarch has already raised $92,000 (now $94,940) with a goal of $100,000.

“It’s important to show these whistleblowers that we have their backs,” O’Keefe said.

News

CNN Insider Blows Whistle on Jeff Zucker’s ‘Anti-Trump Crusade’

On Monday, Project Veritas released the first video in a series that exposes the blatant bias, misconduct, and anti-Trump political agenda of CNN. These tapes, said founder James O’Keefe, “will be the biggest story of the year for Project Veritas.”

Sickened by the “rampant” left-wing bias he saw behind the scenes at CNN, a whistleblower took it upon himself to wear a hidden camera and record officials at the highest levels of the network.

“I started at CNN with a dream to work in media, but my dream had become a nightmare,” said Cary Poarch, a CNN contractor at the Washington D.C. bureau.

Poarch secretly recorded his colleagues for months, making dozens of recordings which he gave to Project Veritas.

“I didn’t see any other option,” he told O’Keefe. “I decided to wear a hidden camera to expose the bias. He recorded staffers admitting on tape that basically all of the on air personalities at CNN are not objective journalists and loathe President Trump.

The whistleblower also secretly recorded network President Jeff Zucker’s 9:00 am editorial meetings, exposing Zucker’s laser-like focus on impeachment at the expense of all other stories.

“Jeff Zucker, basically the president of CNN, has a personal vendetta against Trump,” Nick Neville, CNN media coordinator, said on tape. “It’s not going to be positive for Trump. He hates him. He’s going to be negative. ”

Neville explained that a lot of people at CNN are trying to do “what they think is best for journalistic integrity,” but then Zucker tells them “what to do” (focus on impeachment) on the 9:00 am calls. “You gotta go with what the boss says, he added, noting that Zucker has had “an ongoing feud with Trump since The Apprentice.”

Another CNN staffer also said on tape that Zucker is gunning for Trump’s impeachment.

“There’s just nothing we can do if Zucker wants impeachment every single day to be the top story,” said Christian Sierra, media coordinator at CNN. “So yeah, he wants impeachment—above all else.”

Sierra said that he hates how everything at the network is about Trump now, and so do a lot of CNN staffers.

“Everyone at my job, everyone at the network complains about it,” he said. “They hate covering Trump every day.” Neville said CNN is partly to blame for the Trump phenomenon because they hyped his candidacy in 2016 and continue to obsess about his presidency for ratings.

Yet another CNN employee blamed the media for Trump’s rise to power.

“The media created the Trump monster,” said Hiram Gonzalez, CNN floor director. Gonzalez said CNN now uses “whatever tools are at our disposal” to combat Trump.

According to CNN staffers, the network was shell-shocked on election night 2016.

Mike Brevna, floor manager at CNN, described the funeral-like atmosphere at the network when Trump won.

” …they were down like this and they were sobbing,” Brevna said. “It was like we was at a funeral.” Sierra described the mood at CNN the next day as “sourpuss.”

“I bet at Fox  it was euphoria,” Sierra laughed. “F*ck yeah. Racism, we’re coming back.” Sierra went on to suggest that CNN’s “anti-Trump” crusade was meant to undo the damage.

According to Project Veritas, this is what set Poarch off. “He saw the anti-Trump crusade as about  more than ratings. It was about taking sides,” O’Keefe says in the video.

In on the morning calls with Zucker were Virginia Moseley, CNN’s senior vice president of news gathering; David Chailian, CNN’s political director, and various news staffers.

“We’re moving toward impeachment,” Zucker told his underlings in one of the morning calls. “This is going one way and so all these moves are towards impeachment,” he added, suggesting that no other narrative would be acceptable at the network.

Zucker also instructed news staffers to not be shy about targeting Senator Lindsey Graham for negative hit pieces.

“So, I just want to say on the Lindsey Graham front. I know that there’s a lot of people at CNN that are friendly with Lindsey Graham,” he said. “Time to knock that off. And it’s time to call him out.”

In one of the calls, Zucker blamed “conspiracy nonsense” from Fox News for “what’s going on in America now.”

“The fake conspiracy stuff that Fox has spread for years is now deeply embedded in American society, and frankly that is beyond destructive for America, and I do not think that we should be scared to say so,” he told his employees.

Poarch made note of Zucker’s liberal projection. “He was calling Fox News fake news and a propaganda machine, and with what I saw, that’s pretty much what CNN was— just pumping out propaganda,” he told O’Keefe.

“I just want them to own where they’re at,” he added. “Like hey, if we lean left—cool, let’s say we lean left. If we lean right, let it be known.” Poarch said he just wanted people to have the information so they can make up their own minds.

Poarch taped one last 9:00 am phone call for Project Veritas Monday morning:

 

 

News

CNN’s April Ryan: Bodyguard ‘Overreacted’ But He Was ‘Concerned for My Safety’

CNN political analyst April Ryan has finally weighed in on the altercation that took place during a speaking event in New Jersey earlier this month leading to her bodyguard being charged with harassment, assault and theft.

Ryan’s bodyguard–Joel Morris, 30, of Illinois–was charged with the crimes after violently ejecting a journalist from the New Jersey Parent Summit on Aug. 3.

For weeks, her refusal to comment on the incident prompted a slew of criticism from right as well as the left.  Finally, Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple on Aug. 23, urged Ryan and CNN to “speak now or relinquish your standing as First Amendment champions.”

Ryan appeared on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” on Sunday to give her side of the story.

She stopped short of condemning Morris, saying only that he may have “overreacted” when he pushed Charlie Kratovil, an editor at New Brunswick Today, out of her event. And she attempted to excuse it by repeatedly claiming that he did it out of concern for her safety.

Stelter, CNN’s chief media correspondent, failed to press Ryan to explain why a journalist videotaping her event would be a threat to her safety.

Videos posted online show Kratovil being roughed up by Morris after spending two hours inside filming other guests and speakers without any problems.

Stelter began the interview by informing viewers that the reason Ryan has to have a bodyguard in the first place is because of the alleged threats she has received for “speaking out during the Trump age.”

He asked Ryan if she had given her bodyguard the orders to remove Kratovil from the premises.

Ryan insisted that the incident was “not about suppressing the press.”

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m the first person who wants to get a story out being on T.V. or radio,” she said. “And the only reason why I’ve been quiet is because of a threat, a threat of lawsuits, and my attorney said I can’t speak. But here’s the thing. This is not about suppressing the press. My body of work stands for me. And no, I did not order anyone to do anything.

At that moment what you saw was my then-bodyguard who was concerned with my safety come to me and say stop talking. They were about 100 feet away from me. I didn’t know what was going on or what was said. I was on the stage at the time.

Stelter pressed Ryan to explain why she didn’t want cameras covering her speeches. “What’s the problem with having a person videotape your speech?” he asked.

Ryan replied: “Well, you know, this was a private event for a non-profit organization in New Brunswick New Jersey. Our contract stated that if someone wanted to come and film or if they wanted to interview me, they had to ask for permission. There was no request for permission and permission was not granted.”

She added that if Kratovil had asked for permission, it would have been granted.

However, according to the Society of Professional Journalists, “Kratovil had been invited to cover the event by a public-relations firm working with the organizers, had gone through the registration system and RSVP’d his attendance.”

He did not conceal his video-recording activity, and had no outward indication that videography was prohibited in the venue. (Journalists had been freely admitted to cover other events during the Summit, including shooting video.)

Stelter asked Ryan if  she regretted that her bodyguard put his hands on this reporter, saying he thought that was “completely inappropriate.”

Ryan repeated that he had acted out of concern for her safety.

“Well, again, my former contracted security personnel thought I guess I suspect was concerned for my safety,” she said.

Rather than question Ryan about how her safety might have been threatened by having a journalist videotape her speech, Stelter gave her a lifeline.

“So maybe he just overreacted. Are you saying he just overreacted?” he asked.

“Yes, yes,” Ryan replied. “And on the date after this, we reviewed this, and we decided not to contract with that organization anymore. But again, I believe, in my humble opinion or I assume that he was concerned about my safety.”

For the third time, Stelter didn’t question Ryan’s contention that the local reporter (and fellow Trump critic) Kratovil somehow posed a threat.

Instead, CNN’s chief media correspondent asked Ryan about the alleged death threats she was receiving, teeing her up to play the victime card.

“It’s a very sensitive situation. I do receive death threats,” she said. “I continue to receive death threats. The atmosphere around me is charged. And that’s one of the reasons why I assume he may have overreacted because he was concerned for my safety. But it doesn’t make you feel good to get a death threat and have to send it to the FBI and local authorities.”

Sympathetic, Stelter shared a harrowing experience he himself once endured while giving a speech at a college.

He told Ryan, ” a couple of Infowars reporters showed up, and they were asking me a bunch of questions. I just thought the best thing to do was just to talk to them rather than try to ignore them or swat away their camera because that’s not our job.”

He added: “Our job is not to stop people from asking questions, it’s to help them ask questions.”

Ryan agreed. “Right. And see that’s the issue. If someone asked for permission, I would have granted it,” she insisted.

“But sometimes your words are twisted by people who don’t necessarily understand you or what you’re saying or who have an agenda,” she added, playing the victim card again.  “And that kind of thing can charge the atmosphere to create hate against me and death threats.”

News

Medical Exam Contradicts CNN Story About ICE Separating Nursing Mother From Baby

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is disputing a story reported by CNN on Monday about a nursing mother who was separated from her baby when she was apprehended in an ICE raid earlier this month.

CNN told the story of Maria Domingo-Garcia, a mother of three of who was among the 680 illegal aliens apprehended by ICE while working at Koch Foods in Morton, Mississippi.  Domingo-Garcia is currently being held in a facility in Jena, Louisiana.

The article focused on Domingo-Garcia’s separation from her four-month-old daughter, and the pain of not being able to breastfeed anymore. CNN spoke to Domingo-Garcia’s attorneys, Juliana Manzanarez and Ybarra Maldonado, both whom claimed that she was still breastfeeding her baby at the time of her arrest.

“She is still really depressed. She is in a lot of pain because of not being able to pump or breastfeed,” Manzanarez said after visiting Domingo-Garcia on Saturday.

An ICE representative however told CNN that Domingo-Garcia answered “no” when asked whether she was breastfeeding upon arrival at an ICE facility.

But her lawyers accused ICE of lying. “ICE is, once again, lying,” Maldonado said. “She said nobody’s asked her — not even one time — if she’s been breastfeeding.”

In a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation, ICE insisted that Domingo-Garcia did tell them she was not breastfeeding, and revealed that a subsequent medical examination “found that she was not even lactating.”

“All ICE detainees receive medical, dental and mental health intake screening within 12 hours of arriving at each detention facility; that screening includes a woman being asked if she is breast feeding. During her initial medical screening, Ms. Domingo-Garcia answered no to that question,” said ICE spokesman Bryan Cox.

“Pursuant to subsequent media reports that falsely alleged Ms. Domingo-Garcia was being detained despite being a nursing mother, an ICE Health Services Corps nurse practitioner conducted an additional medical examination of Ms. Domingo-Garcia, which verified she is not lactating,” Cox continued.

CNN also misidentified Domingo-Garcia’s nationality, according to ICE. The article describes her as being “originally from Guatemala,” but ICE identified her as a Mexican national living unlawfully in the U.S.

CNN posted another story Tuesday shortly after the Daily Caller reported on the medical evidence refuting their report.

“Immigration officials doubled down Tuesday on their assertion that a mother arrested in the Mississippi raids earlier this month is not breastfeeding,” CNN reported.

Ybarra Maldonado said neither he nor any lawyer from his firm was present for the medical exam ICE says it conducted. The first he learned of it was when CNN called seeking comment. ICE never reached out to him before releasing the result of the exam, he said.
“I don’t know why they’re going through great lengths to say she’s a liar instead of releasing her,” the lawyer said. “If during a test she didn’t produce milk, perhaps it’s because she’s been detained for twelve days and going through a horrible situation.”

However, if she was still “in a lot of pain because of not being able to pump or breastfeed” as he said she was on Saturday, the nurse practitioner would have picked up on that.

CNN’s entire story, as the Daily Caller suggested, seems to have been based on the claims of the woman’s immigration lawyers.

It’s not entirely clear if CNN relied entirely on claims made by Domingo-Garcia’s attorneys. A CNN spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment from the DCNF.

ICE meanwhile painted the CNN report as fake news: “Any suggestion that ICE does not give significant consideration to humanitarian factors when making arrest and custody determinations would be a patently false claim,” the agency told the DCNF.

News

‘Deafening Silence’ From CNN’s April Ryan After Bodyguard Is Charged with Assault

CNN political analyst April Ryan refuses to comment on an altercation that took place during a speaking event in New Jersey earlier this month leading to her bodyguard being charged with harassment, assault and theft.

Ryan’s bodyguard–Joel Morris, 30, of Illinois–was charged with the crimes after violently ejecting a journalist from the New Jersey Parent Summit on Aug. 3.

Videos posted online show New Brunswick Today editor Charlie Kratovil being roughed up by Ryan’s goon after spending two hours inside filming other guests and speakers without any problems.

Kratovil’s video shows Ryan taking the stage and Morris approaching the podium, apparently seeking instruction. Ryan says something and gives Morris a nod. He then walks over to Kratovil and allegedly grabs his video camera.

“Put that down,” Kratovil exclaims. “Don’t you dare — put that down, sir! That’s my camera!”

As the struggle ensued, Ryan told the audience: “What I will say, when I speak, I don’t have news covering my speeches.”

Kratovil told NJ Advance Media that he had “no choice” but to leave the room at that point. “That camera is worth more than my car. I was able to retrieve it but was not able to avoid being attacked by this guy,” he said.

A second video posted by Kratovil shows the guard grabbing Kratovil and dragging him across the room and out the door.

The Aug. 19 complaint “alleges Morris took Kratovil’s arm and shoved it behind his back, injuring his forearm and shoulder” and “harassment and theft charges stem from Morris taking the camera.”

Kratovil told Press Freedom Tracker that he was diagnosed with a sprain to his shoulder, following the incident.

Ryan, it should be noted, has repeatedly accused President Trump of threatening freedom of the press. Last year, in fact, she published a self-referential book titled “Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House,” in which she lamented that the free press was under attack.

“It’s an awkward, painful, deadly time for reporters in this administration compared to the prior administrations that I’ve covered,” Ryan told an interviewer during her book tour.

No fan of Trump himself, Kratovil spearheaded an Impeach Trump effort in New Brunswick.

The journalist is still waiting for an apology from Ryan.

“This was more than just an assault on me,” tweeted Kratovil on Monday. “This was an assault on freedom of the press.”

“Joel Morris stole [my] camera, high-tailed it out of the room. One thing led to another, I ended up being assaulted after retrieving the camera,” he said. “But now Mr. Morris is going to have to show up on Sept. 12…in Superior Court because that theft charge is an indictable third degree crime in the state of New Jersey.”

He read a statement from the NJ Society of Professional Journalists, saying: “It is never under any circumstances permissible for a person aggrieved at being photographed or videotaped to lay hands on the journalist, or attempt to take away the journalist’s equipment.”

Kratovil continued: “It is sad we have to say this, and remind people of this — and it’s super sad that we have to remind another journalist of this. We are still waiting for [Ryan] to comment on this unfortunate incident…Maybe now that there’s criminal charges we might hear something from her. I hope sincerely that she does comment and I hope she does condemn this. This is unacceptable…Not in our country, we have freedom of the press here.”

Ryan, who remains active on Twitter posting tweets slamming the president, still hasn’t commented on the altercation.

“Her silence is deafening at this point,” Kratovil told NJ.com. “It’s been more than two weeks. Anybody who’s a journalist should be condemning this.”

News

Man Corroborates Lemon Accuser’s Story; Says ‘Other People Saw’ CNN’s Host’s Gross Behavior

Last week, a bartender in New York filed a lawsuit against CNN host Don Lemon, accusing the newsman of a gross, sexually charged assault, and now his former boss has fully corroborated the story.

In an exclusive interview with Fox News, George Gounelas detailed what allegedly occurred on the night of the shocking encounter between Dustin Hice and Lemon at Murf’s Backstreet Tavern, which is located east of NYC in the Hamptons.  Gounelas said the bar was full of people who also witnessed the bizarre incident and that it was common knowledge in the Hamptons. In fact, it was so well known, according to Gounelas, area bartenders routinely offered Hice “Lemon drop shots” to tease him about the alleged assault.

Gounelas, who managed Hice at the now shuttered Old Stove Pub in July of 2018, said the two had gone to Murf’s after work and spotted the CNN host.

“Dustin worked for me as a bartender [and] we went out after work one night. We were standing there and he said, ‘Hey, that’s Don Lemon,’” Gounelas said. “Murf’s is a place you go to drink after you’ve been out drinking. We had just gotten off of work. So that’s why we ended up there, because we worked in the restaurant business. So by the time everything is done, we can only hit a late-night spot.”

In his lawsuit, Hice claimed that he offered to buy Lemon a drink but Lemon refused, saying he was “just trying to have a good time.”

According to the lawsuit, Hice was later approached by Lemon.

Mr. Lemon, who was wearing a pair of shorts, sandals, and a t-shirt, put his hand down the front of his own shorts, and vigorously rubbed his genitalia, removed his hand and shoved his index and middle fingers in Plaintiff’s mustache and under Plaintiff’s nose.

Hice claimed that Lemon asked, “Do you like p***y or d***?” as the CNN host put his fingers under his nose and described Lemon as acting “with aggression and hostility.” He said that he left the bar feeling humiliated.

Lemon vehemently denies Hice’s allegations.

“The plaintiff in this lawsuit has previously displayed a pattern of contempt for CNN on his social media accounts,” a CNN spokesperson said in a statement. “This claim follows his unsuccessful threats and demands for an exorbitant amount of money from Don Lemon. Don categorically denies these claims and this matter does not merit any further comment at this time.”

But Gounelas corroborated every part of the disgusting story and said that it was common knowledge among the Hampton nightlife crowd.

He said the encounter began when Hice offered to buy Lemon a drink, and the CNN host declined.

“Don Lemon has now come around the corner and is standing face to face with us. There is a beam, a pole, in the place. Don’s standing up against the pole, face to face with Dustin, I turn around and I’m standing right there between the two of them,” Gounelas said. “He’s saying, ‘So you like me? Is that why you’re bothering me?’”

Hice responded, “Nah, man, I just wanted to say, ‘What’s up?’” according to Gounelas.

Gounelas told Fox News he couldn’t exactly recall what Lemon said next, but it was “along the lines of, ‘Do you like me? Is that why you’re bothering me, because you wanna f*** me?’”

He also said Lemon appeared to be “pretty drunk” throughout the confrontation.

“He put his hands down his pants, inside his board shorts, grabbed his [genitals], and then came out with two fingers and, like, clipped Dustin’s nose up and down with two fingers asking ‘do you like p—- or d—?’” Gounelas said.

Gounelas said he laughed at the time and teased Hice because of Lemon’s alleged actions – but Hice was not amused.

“Dustin was in this shock mode saying, ‘Bro, did that just happen? That was disgusting,’” Gounelas said, adding: “The whole thing is like, I go out in the Hamptons, I live out here, I have a restaurant, I get it, people get crazy. To me, it was just another thing. To [Dustin], he was like shocked.”

Gounelas told Fox News that he isn’t sure if the openly gay Lemon was being belligerent or simply flirting.

“I guess it’s a little of both. If someone had done that to me, I probably would have punched him. But I think it might have been flirting. I think Dustin was more in shock… If someone was flirting with me like that I’d say, ‘alright man I’m not gay,’” Gounelas said. “I wouldn’t go up to a girl like that. It could be his way of flirting.”

He added: “The place was packed. I’m sure other people saw. It was a known thing in the Hamptons, not like this quiet thing. Everybody knew Dustin and what happened to him. Every time we went out, every bartender offered him a Lemon drop shot, making fun of him. He got some sh-t for it.”

According to Gounelas, Hice was regularly teased about the incident at work for the rest of the summer, and the situation left him “a little messed up.”

“This is the only thing he could talk about, not in a good way, like ‘I can’t believe that sh-t happened,’” Gounelas explained.