Donald Trump frequently attacks mainstream media outlets as “biased” and “failing.” But one of his favorite targets is CNN, which Trump calls the “Clinton News Network.” That hasn’t deterred CNN or its hosts from challenging Trump campaign officials or surrogates.
On Tuesday night, Anderson Cooper, the cable network’s star anchor, got into a sparring match with Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager, as Conway attempted to direct attention away from Trump’s 2005 hot-mic comments in which he boasted about groping women. Although Trump has tepidly apologized, dismissing it “locker room” talk, that hasn’t dampened the furor. CNN also uncovered more instances of sexist and degrading talk, including one case in which Trump said it was OK for Howard Stern to refer to his daughter Ivanka Trump as “a piece of ass.” Dozens of Republican leaders have rescinded their endorsements, and polls show that Trump’s support is falling.
On Tuesday, Conway called the Republican leaders who pulled back their endorsements “wishy-washy.” She hammered at Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers—but Cooper noted that Trump’s are “worse.”
Conway also tried to pivot to the women who accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual harassment and assault. Conway spoke of Clinton settling a lawsuit, in 1999, over allegations that he sexually harassed a woman in the 1980s when he was Governor of Arkansas.
Cooper interjected: “Your candidate has settled numerous lawsuits without admitting any guilt on a whole number of things. Are you saying, are you implying that settling a lawsuit is implying guilt? Because if so, it means that your candidate is guilty of an awful lot of things, no?”
He asked the question again and again, and Conway refused to answer each time, returning to the argument that the Trump has been stressing: that Bill Clinton’s alleged sexual misconduct reflects on Hillary Clinton’s character.
Then, in one of the most uncomfortable moments, Cooper asked Conway to comment on why Trump said it was OK to call his daughter Ivanka a “piece of a–.”
Why, he asked, “would a father say that about his own daughter? I don’t understand.”
Conway replied, “Yeah I don’t know if you’re trying to drive a wedge between those two, but good luck, they have a beautiful relationship.”
Cooper repeated the question, and Conway said, “The question I have is, why can’t CNN cover Obamacare and ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism.”
“We do, all the time,” Cooper said.
Watch the full segment above.