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Media critic Howard Kurtz, of The Daily Beast, said it was Ellison who had picked the fight and suggested he may have been trying to seek attention.

Ellison was unavailable for comment on Friday, his spokesman said.

Representative Ellison was invited to appear on `Hannity‘ to discuss the sequester, an issue that will harm thousands of his constituents and the American economy, and accepted the invitation for that reason,” spokesman Jeremy Slevin said.