WASHINGTON ― CNN anchor Jake Tapper took former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to task Sunday for excusing Donald Trump’s comments about sexually assaulting women as something all men say from time to time.
The interaction is something to behold, and Giuliani, a surrogate for Trump who made the rounds on nearly every political Sunday show, was clearly taken aback, struggling to find the words to defend the Republican nominee.
“He’s talking about actions that are sexual assault and he was 59 or 60 years old when he said it,” Tapper told Giuliani. “This wasn’t something that he said when he was 18 years old.”
“He’s talking about a feeling of entitlement: Because he’s a star he can go up to women and grab them by the vagina and it’s okay, he won’t get in trouble for it,” Tapper continued. “It’s really offensive on a basic human level. Who did he do that to?”
Giuliani agreed that Trump’s comments ― picked up on a hot mic as he sat aboard an “Access Hollywood” bus in 2005 ― were offensive, but dismissed it as talk, and not behavior the reality TV star actually engaged in.
“First of all, I don’t know if he did it to anyone,” Giuliani said. “This is talk, and ―uh ― gosh almighty, you know, he who hasn’t sinned throw the first stone here.”
Tapper cut him off, refusing to accept that Trump’s crude talk about grabbing women “by the pussy” was normal.
“I will gladly tell you, Mr. Mayor, I have never said that,” Tapper said. “I have never done that; I’m happy to throw a stone. I don’t know any man ― I have been in locker rooms, I’ve been a member of a fraternity ― I’ve never heard any man brag about being able to maul women because they get away with it, never.”
Again, Giuliani said Trump’s words were being distorted, and that Tapper had “taken it to an extra degree.”
“The fact is men talk like that,” Giuliani reasoned. “Not all men, but men do.”
“You talk like that?” Tapper said.
“He was wrong for doing it. I’m not justifying it,” Giuliani continued, talking over Tapper. “I believe it’s wrong; I know he believes it’s wrong.”
So far, 23 Republicans in Congress have revoked their support of Trump since the audio was made public.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.