If Anderson Cooper or Kellyanne Conway still even had gloves this bumpy election season, now they’re definitely off.
The CNN anchor and Donald Trump’s campaign manager tore into each other in a heated interview Tuesday night, two days after Cooper moderated the second presidential debate — and four days after a bombshell audio recording from 2005 showed Trump making offensive comments about women.
Since the tape surfaced and many polls concluded that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won the debate, Trump’s campaign has been insisting louder than ever before that the mainstream media is against him. Conway repeated that sentiment to Cooper on Tuesday.
“We’d be happy to have more fair treatment in the media, but I’m not going to find unicorns on my doorstep tomorrow,” she said.
Cooper made headlines when he confronted Trump about the tape during the debate. In his interview with Conway, he again brought up the fact that what Trump was saying on the tape amounted to sexual assault.
“Let’s just be clear: the reason this has been making headlines is because Donald Trump was discussing and bragging about sexual assault 11 years ago on a bus,” Cooper said. “It’s not Hillary Clinton who put those words in his mouth.”
“Anderson,” Conway chided, “first of all, in case anybody’s wondering because they will somehow read my mind after this broadcast … I find those comments to be disgusting and reprehensible, and I’m really glad that he apologised.”
Cooper asked if the campaign’s new tactic of highlighting Bill Clinton’s past affairs would depress Democratic turnout on Election Day, and Conway said Hillary Clinton was doing that on her own. The two then had a testy exchange:
CONWAY: “My goodness, why is this woman at 46%? She’s like the magic 46. She’s 46% in the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, she’s 46% in a lot of these swing states — “
COOPER: “She’s ahead of your candidate.”
CONWAY: “Anderson! She’s running as the first female president who has a sitting president and first lady much more popular than she will ever be — “
COOPER: “Your candidate is below 46%.”
CONWAY: [Pause] “Is that a question?”
COOPER: “Well you’re saying 46% is bad, but 37% is worse.” [crosstalk]
CONWAY: “One needs not be a pollster to know that.”
Conway continued on about the former president Clinton’s alleged affairs and expressed shock that he settled a sexual harassment lawsuit when he was governor of Arkansas.
Cooper cut in: “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?”
After he asked the question two more times, Conway didn’t answer and pivoted back to Bill Clinton and what his past said about Hillary Clinton’s character.
When Cooper asked her to explain why Trump said it was OK to say his daughter Ivanka was a “piece of a–,” (which Conway wouldn’t answer either) they exchanged a few more barbs before he ended the interview:
CONWAY: “Anderson, I guess the question I have is why can’t CNN cover Obamacare, and ISIS, and radical Islamic terrorism?”
COOPER: “We do, all the time.”
CONWAY: “No you don’t! Respectfully, you don’t.” [crosstalk]
COOPER: “You guys should know we do because you watch CNN all day long.” [crosstalk]
CONWAY: “You don’t even want to cover it now; all you want to do is talk over me!”
Watch segments of the CNN interview below:
NOW WATCH: Trump says ‘every poll’ shows he won the second debate, but scientific polls suggest he lost
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.