Speed Reads

tensions ran high

This CNN panel devolved into chaos almost as soon as discussion over Trump's travel ban began

A discussion on President Trump's controversial immigration executive order quickly turned into a yelling match on Wednesday's episode of CNN Tonight. The debate started to go off the rails within the first minute, when former federal prosecutor John Flannery claimed a fellow panelist, Harvard Law School's Alan Dershowitz, supported Trump's travel ban because he thought it would benefit Israel. "Our dear colleague, Alan Dershowitz, I think, hopes that this may secure Israel," Flannery said, referring to Trump's revised executive order that temporarily bans people from six predominantly Muslim countries from traveling to the U.S.

Dershowitz quickly interrupted Flannery, demanding to know what he was "talking about." "You're lying through your teeth," Dershowitz told Flannery. "I never said a word about Israel. You know, when you focus on everything I say about Israel it really raises questions about your own bigotry and bias, so let's get to the point and just keep your mouth shut."

Flannery insisted the ban is "transparently against Muslims," a reason similar to what a federal judge in Hawaii cited Wednesday when he blocked Trump's order, deeming the ban an attempt to "disfavor a particular religion." Dershowitz, a constitutional analyst, argued his belief that the ban is constitutional — though still "bad policy" — had nothing to do with his stances on other issues. "You can't believe anything I say because I'm a Jew and a Zionist?" Dershowitz said. "For shame on you sir. I never want to be on the show with this bigot again."

Watch the explosive debate below. Becca Stanek