CNN host Jake Tapper grilled Donald Trump advisor Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday, pressing her on the campaign’s response to a salacious tabloid story alleging Ted Cruz had extramarital affairs and new video showing ex-Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields was grabbed by manager Corey Lewandowski.
Tapper asked Huckabee Sanders in blunt terms if she was “ashamed” of a recent video Trump campaign social-media director Dan Scavino posted. The video implied Cruz had been romantically involved with his former communications director, Amanda Carpenter.
“There is no actual evidence that it happened,” Tapper said. “I mean, at some point aren’t you just ashamed? This is the Trump campaign sending it out!”
“Look, what I’m personally ashamed of Jake is the entire process,” Huckabee Sanders replied. “It’s gotten to where it’s gutter politics.”
Huckabee Sanders alleged that the Cruz campaign is “one of the directest, nastiest campaigns out there.”
Tapper agreed that he would prefer to talk about the issues.
“I would love to be talking about trade, immigration and counter-terrorism,” the CNN host said. “But unfortunately, I now have to turn to another question which has to do with the fact that your campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, now faces legal charges.”
Tapper noted that Trump said there was “nothing” in the video.
“When you watch that tape, do you see nothing?” he asked.
“I do,” Huckabee Sanders insisted, arguing that press scrums can often be somewhat physical.
Tapper pressed her.
“OK, you don’t see anything there. The police obviously it differently,” he said. “[E]ven if you don’t think that it is a big deal, it did happen. And both Corey Lewandowski and Donald Trump initially said that she made it up and that he never touched her. Those are not true statements.”
Huckabee Sanders continued to contend press scrums can be physical and said she was once hit in the face with a camera.
“But if that happened to you and the cameraman said he made it up, how would you feel?” Tapper asked.
Huckabee Sanders dodged the question, saying there was no “malice” on Lewandowski’s part.
“I’m not talking about the grabbing. I’m talking about the lying part of it,” Tapper fired back. “It happened. It did happen. It seems to me probably this whole thing could have been avoided if Corey just said sorry. But it did happen.”
Huckabee Sanders continued to say she didn’t think “anything happened.” Tapper said he didn’t feel the two were “getting anywhere” and concluded the interview.
Follow the author of this story on Twitter and Facebook: