Barry Bennett, a former adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, got into a shouting match with CNN commentator Angela Rye on Wednesday once the GOP nominee’s birtherism was brought up on a panel.
On Tuesday, Trump refused to correct the record on whether he still believes birther conspiracy theories, which hold that President Barack Obama was born outside the United States and is therefore ineligible to be President. His running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, clarified on Wednesday that he, for one, believes that Obama was born in the United States. But Trump has so far refused to talk about the issue or disavow the birther movement.
“Why doesn’t Trump follow in the steps of Mike Pence and say, ‘All right, you’re right, he was born in the U.S.? Done, over with. Stop asking me,'” CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin asked Bennett.
“Well, he probably should, right?” Bennett replied. “It was a mistake to talk about it years ago, but it would probably be a mistake to keep talking about it as well.”
Rye had more direct advice for Donald Trump: “He’s got to demonstrate to people that he’s not a bigot, that he’s not a racist, and that he’s not using racist rhetoric to pander to his very angry base right now.”
“You don’t have to prove that you’re not a racist!” Bennett protested.
“Unless you’re on the Trump campaign,” Rye fired back.
Baldwin sat in silence as Bennett and Rye yelled over each other for several minutes before finally stepping in.
“I know we have 62 days to go,” she said. “I think I’m going to leave it.”
Watch part of the exchange below: