Michael Caputo, a former Trump aide and current Trump surrogate on CNN, had a bonafide meltdown tonight when faced with USA Today columnist Kirsten Powers’ calm explanation of why women don’t immediately come forward after surviving a sexual assault.
Caputo started to go off the rails during a tirade against Julie Swetnick, who became the third woman to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, alleging that he was present at a party where she was drugged and gang raped in 1982. Caputo’s argument was essentially the same victim-blaming tripe conservative commenters have been slinging all day: Why would Swetnick even go to a party where such behavior was known to happen? And why would she wait until now to come forward?
After some back and forth with the panel’s other guest, Jeffrey Toobin, Cooper prompted Powers to answer Caputo’s question. Powers, who had been rolling her eyes in disgust during Caputo’s initial tirade, calmly demolished him.
“This [the 1980s] was a time when women simply were not believed and everybody sounded like Donald Trump and Michael Caputo,” she said, “So if you’re going to ask why women didn’t come forward, Michael, that’s your answer, just listen to yourself. This is how women got treated, this is how they got talked about.” That evidently struck a nerve, because Caputo started shouting over her.
Powers didn’t let up, repeatedly telling Caputo to stop interrupting her as he cycled through the start of “as a father of two daughters,” and other defenses.
“I listened to you ranting and raving for two segments, now you can listen to me,” she said, which apparently caused his brain to short circuit.
“You don’t call me out like that on national television,” Caputo said, before eventually just resorting to pleading with Powers to stop owning him. It didn’t work.
You can watch the full exchange here: