CNN host Carol Costello cut off a conversation with Donald Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson on Tuesday, saying that it “was going nowhere.”
Pressed by Costello to answer for Trump’s comments in a leaked 2005 tape in which he brags about grabbing women’s genitals, Pierson said that Trump had apologized, and then pivoted to blame “hip-hop music” and Hollywood for rape culture.
“We are talking about a society who puts women on a pedestal because of a sex tape,” Pierson argued.
“Your candidate talked about watching Paris Hilton’s sex tape,” CNN commentator Angela Rye hit back.
“The way that sexual assault is portrayed in some Hollywood movies is wrong, and it is, and I agree with you there,” Costello interrupted. “But that doesn’t make what Mr. Trump said right. Right? So to me, when you say these things, I don’t know whether you really mean them or if you’re just deflecting to excuse Mr. Trump’s comments.”
“That’s exactly why he apologized,” Pierson said. “But this really is a distraction.”
She went on to blame the left for “digging through the garbage” of Trump’s past comments instead of talking about the refugee crisis in Syria or the Clinton Foundation, two issues which she cited as more important, but Costello jumped in.
“I can’t, Katrina, I can’t,” she said, “because Donald Trump isn’t talking about that. He’s talking about Bill Clinton’s sexual past. Okay, let’s stop right here.”
Costello then switched to an interview with Dana Bash, cutting Pierson off mid-pivot.
“That conversation was going nowhere,” she added.