On Monday, CBS This Morning hounded Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway over the second presidential debate. Norah O'Donnell wondered "what was the point" of spotlighting several of Bill Clinton's sexual abuse accusers just before the debate. Gayle King played up how the billionaire "seemed to throw...[Mike] Pence under the bus last night." Almost an hour earlier, O'Donnell and King, along with Charlie Rose, went much lighter on Hillary Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook. King asked Mook, "They're calling it the ugliest, nastiest debate ever. Did it feel that way to you watching it?" [video below]
O'Donnell led the segment with Conway by pointing out the "Trump campaign wanted to seat the women who have accused Bill Clinton of indiscretion in the VIP box." She asked the Trump spokeswoman, "Were you upset that the Commission on Presidential Debates thwarted that?" The manager replied, in part, that she was surprised by how the commission "thwarted" that plan.
The anchor followed up with her "what was the point" question, and underlined that "it wasn't a press conference because reporters weren't allowed to ask them questions." She continued by asking, "Do you think that that plays well with women voters?" Conway twice spotlighted that "these women want to be heard." She added that "in the case of Kathy Shelton...a 12-year-old rape victim...Hillary Clinton represented, successfully, her accuser — got him a plea deal." O'Donnell retorted that Clinton was "selected by a judge to defend the man."
King later raised "the relationship between Mike Pence and Donald Trump today. He seemed to throw Mr. Pence under the bus last night." Conway countered that "that's not true." The CBS journalist then pointed out that Pence "was nowhere to be seen over the weekend." Rose also wondered, regarding the aftermath of the 2005 Access Hollywood video, "What are these defections doing to the campaign? These are people who had endorsed Donald Trump, who were hopeful that he would be a different kind of candidate, and now, they're dis-endorsing him."
By contrast, the CBS This Morning anchors tossed mostly softball questions to Mook during their interview of the Clinton campaign manager during the previous hour of the newscast:
CHARLIE ROSE: So where is this campaign going after the debate last night, which dismayed many people, in terms of the bitterness of it all; and are you going to have to finally defend and go darker?
GAYLE KING: They're calling it the ugliest, nastiest debate ever. Did it feel that way to you watching it?
NORAH O'DONNELL: Robbie, the Washington Post is reporting that Donald Trump's campaign sought to intimidate Hillary Clinton and embarrass former President Bill Clinton by placing and seating the women who have accused former President Clinton of sexual abuse, and putting them in the Trump family box. But, at the last minute, they were thwarted by the commission—
ROSE: By Frank Fahrenkopf—
O'DONNELL: By Frank Fahrenkopf — were you aware that this was happening?
ROBBIE MOOK, CLINTON CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I — I was not. You'd have to ask the commission about that.
O'DONNELL: Would you like to comment on what, perhaps, would have happened if they had been seated in the family box?
ROSE: Beyond that, he said that if he was elected, he would appoint a prosecutor to try to put her in jail because she deleted e-mails after they were under subpoena.
The transcript of the questions to Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway on the October 10, 2016 edition of CBS This Morning:
NORAH O'DONNELL: Donald Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway joins us from Trump Tower in New York. Good morning, Kellyanne.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Good morning.
O'DONNELL: The Washington Post is reporting that the Trump campaign wanted to seat the women who have accused Bill Clinton of indiscretion in the VIP box. Were you upset that the Commission on Presidential Debates thwarted that?
O'DONNELL: What was the point, Kellyanne, of having the women there in that Facebook Live chat? It wasn't a press conference, because reporters weren't allowed to ask them questions — but what was the point of bringing them forward? Do you think that that plays well with women voters?
CONWAY: It wasn't a Facebook Live chat. These women want to be heard. And I'm sure they would be available to come on your show any time.
CONWAY: In the case of Kathy Shelton — she was a 12-year-old rape victim — that is not in dispute. And Hillary Clinton represented, successfully, her accuser — got him a plea deal.
O'DONNELL: She was selected by a judge — she was selected by a judge to defend the man.
CONWAY: And she did so; and, a year later, laughed about the tactics in getting him to have the plea deal. But she deserves to be heard.
CHARLIE ROSE: Kellyanne, do you expect there to be more videos and more people coming forward to talk about Donald Trump in the way this video spoke about Donald Trump?
GAYLE KING: He went point-by-point. Can you tell us about the relationship between Mike Pence and Donald Trump today? He seemed to throw Mr. Pence under the bus last night.
CONWAY: No, that's not true. In fact, Mike Pence is on other networks right now talking about what a fabulous job his running mate — the top of the ticket — did in the debate last night.
KING: But over the weekend, he was nowhere to be seen, Kellyanne. I know he's out there today, but he was nowhere to be seen over the weekend.
CONWAY: No, that's actually not true. Friday, he was active.
ROSE: Do you expect that Speaker [Paul] Ryan to keep his endorsement of Donald Trump or will he defect as well?
ROSE: But what are these defections doing to the campaign? These are people who had endorsed Donald Trump; who were hopeful that he would be a different kind of candidate; and now, they're dis-endorsing him. What does that do to the campaign?
KING: Kellyanne, there's a story making the rounds on social media about what Melania Trump wore — a Gucci pussy bow silk crepe de chine blouse. Under the circumstances, do you think that's a good choice?
CONWAY: I know nothing about her outfit except that she looked beautiful in it, as she always does. But I don't confer with —confer with her—
KING: Don't miss the point that I'm making; don't miss the point that I'm making. Yes, she looked beautiful and lovely. That wasn't the question. I just think under the circumstances that seemed an unusual choice. But we thank you. Thank you very much for joining us today — really appreciate it.
CONWAY: Thank you.