Piers Morgan, Greg Ball spat: Senator's aide says boss handed Piers 'his butt'

CNN host Piers Morgan, left, and New York

CNN host Piers Morgan, left, and New York State Sen. Greg Ball engaged in a Twitter war Monday after Ball appeared on Morgan's show to defend his advocacy of torturing Dzhokhar Tsarnev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. (Credit: Getty Images / Newsday)

A Twitter skirmish between state Sen. Greg Ball and British talk show host Piers Morgan escalated Tuesday, a day after they sparred on Morgan's CNN talk show.

In a Twitter posting, Ball wrote: "Handed @piersmorgan his butt last night. Reportedly he said I walked off. He knew I had @seanhannity 9:40 p.m. Sore loser. Rematch annnnytime!"

In another tweet, Ball wrote: "Piers the Snake: Appearance schedule lost in translation at CNN."


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There followed a link to a news release in which Joe Bachmeier, Ball's communications director, took Morgan to task for refusing to shake the senator's hand as he left and suggesting Ball bolted from the interview early although his segment only began at about 9:15 p.m. and show officials knew he was booked on the Fox News show "Hannity" at 9:40 p.m.

"After the senator handed Piers his proverbial British 'tookus' in a handbasket, Piers asked the senator to stay beyond 9:30 p.m.," Backmeier said in the statement. "This would have required canceling on Hannity, which was prescheduled. Off-air, the senator politely suggested a rematch at any time."

"Tookus," or "tuchus," is a Yiddish word for the buttocks.

During Monday's interview, Morgan demanded that Ball "stop being a jerk," and in a later Twitter post labeled the lawmaker a "weird man" who "called me 'dude,' mocked my accent and challenged me to an arm wrestle."

An email to Morgan's public relations representative seeking comment from the TV host was not returned. Ball and Bachmeier also were not immediately available.

Hostilities erupted when Morgan tried to press Ball on his Friday Twitter post that said torture would be appropriate for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the deadly Boston Marathon bombing: "So, scum bag #2 in custody. Who wouldn't use torture on this punk to save more lives?"

On TV, when Morgan sought to press him on the point, Ball stood by his assertion.

"A lot of politicians are full of crap," he said. "They're scared of their own shadows and scared to say what they feel."

He said the tweet represented what he would do if he were "personally put in a room with anybody from the most current scum bags to Osama bin Laden."

Ball, 35, of Patterson, represents State Senate District 40, which encompasses Putnam County, a Republican stronghold, in addition to parts of Dutchess and Westchester counties.

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