GOP strategist attacks Katrina Pierson for being "one of 'the blacks'" Donald Trump pays "to clean up his mess" on CNN

"He's winning," Pierson shot back at Tara Setmayer, "that's all that matters"

By Scott Eric Kaufman

Published February 29, 2016 5:12PM (EST)

Katrina Pierson   (CNN)
Katrina Pierson (CNN)

Donald Trump sent his spokeswoman/sacrificial lamb onto CNN's "Newroom" Monday morning in a futile attempt to walk back his comments Sunday about former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke -- whom he told Jake Tapper he'd never heard of, but that he wouldn't disavow support from anyone who would help him win.

Republican strategist Tara Setmayer attacked Trump for "thinking the people are stupid rubes," as well as his "questionable" history with racial politics, noting that the Trump organization was once sued by the Department of Justice for racial discrimination, and that Trump himself claimed in the past that "he loved 'the blacks.'"

"We could go down the list of very questionable things that Donald Trump has said," she continued. "Maybe Katrina Pierson is one of ‘the blacks’ he likes since he pays her to clean up his mess every day on television."

Pierson replied by directing Setmayer to "Snopes [which is] a really good website," to which Setmayer replied that he wrote in his book that he "doesn't want tall black guys to count his money, he wants short guys in yarmulkes to count his money." (Trump has disputed this claim, noting that the book in which it appeared was "written by a fired and totally disgruntled employee who was terrible at the job he did and who I hardly knew.")

"Republicans are so very, very desperate now that they're turning into Democrats," Pierson replied. "They're using race-baiting and things like that to take down a candidate. He's winning -- that's all that matters."

"Unfortunately to you, that's all that matters," Setmayer replied as the segment cut to commercial.

Watch the entire exchange on CNN via Talking Points Memo.

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2016 Gop Primary Cnn David Duke Donald Trump Elections 2016 Katrina Pierson Kkk