CNN’s Carol Costello cut off Donald Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson on Tuesday while she was criticizing Hillary Clinton to go to correspondent Dana Bash and a discussion about "the Republican civil war."
Pierson and Democratic strategist Angela Rye, frequent sparring partners, got into a spat when Pierson pointed to derogatory lyrics in "hip-hop music" during a discussion of the continued fallout from Trump’s sexually explicit remarks about women in 2005.
"That doesn’t make what Mr. Trump said right, right?" Costello asked.
"No, you’re absolutely right. That is exactly why he apologized," Pierson said.
"To me, when you say these things, I don’t know if you really mean them, or if you’re just deflecting to excuse Mr. Trump’s comments, and there’s a difference," Costello said, as Rye nodded.
Pierson repeated that was why Trump apologized. Costello and Rye then jumped on Pierson when the latter claimed that the election was not about delving into the past. Trump has made Bill Clinton’s history of sexual misconduct allegations a main talking point in recent days.
"We’re talking about two people, who they are today, not who they are in the past," Pierson said. "I know the left wants to go digging through the garbage to try to destroy someone’s character."
"I’m sorry, that’s what you all are actually doing," Rye said.
"What we should be talking about is Hillary Clinton, because she wants to talk about the issues, Angela," Pierson said. "Let’s talk about the red line in the sand. Aleppo is a humanitarian crisis thanks to that red line in the sand."
"Oh, no, no, no, no, no, I can’t, Katrina, I can’t, because Donald Trump isn’t talking about that," Costello said, as the two began talking over each other. "He’s talking about Bill Clinton’s sexual past."
As Pierson continued lighting into Clinton over Libya and pay-for-play allegations through the Clinton Foundation, Costello ended the exchange.
"Let’s stop right here," Costello said. "I want to talk about something else with Dana Bash. I want to talk to Dana Bash now. Dana, can you hear me?"
"I can hear you," Bash said.
"OK, that conversation was going nowhere, so I’m going to talk to you about the Republican civil war," Costello said. "All of American should be concerned about what’s happening within the Republican Party right now, because it’s important that we have two strong political parties in this country."
Amid the fallout from the tapes of Trump using sexually aggressive language, including boasting about grabbing women "by the p***y," House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) told fellow congressional Republicans he would no longer defend Trump. Trump has responded with public attacks on Ryan through his Twitter account, calling him weak and ineffective.