Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani went up against Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in a heated interview ahead of the final presidential debate on Wednesday – and things got a little out of hands (pun intended) when he grasped the female anchor’s wrist to interrupt her.
Giuliani, a surrogate for Republican nominee Donald Trump, and Cuban, a supporter of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, argued over a series of issues ranging from Clinton's use of a private email server to Trump’s business success — or, according to Cuban, the lack of it.
In what CNN moderator Erin Burnett called “the debate before the debate,” the topic of sexual assault allegations against the media mogul also came up. Unsurprisingly, Giuliani denied the accusations and cast doubt on the women's claims all the while assuring that his good friend Donald would never do anything like that.
He even described the boisterous billionaire, who was caught on tape bragging about grabbing and molesting women, as “kind of courtly.” Giuliani then switched the conversation to Bill Clinton – despite the fact the former U.S. president is not in the race for White House.
“I know a woman that this happened to with Donald Trump, alright? I know her story to be true. So let me ask you, are you positive?” Burnett asked the former mayor.
“I have known him for 28 years and I've never seen him ever do anything remotely close to that. I know men who are touchy, feely, I know men who seem to act inappropriate to the way they touch or handle women, I don't like it,” he responded.
Ironically, in the same interview, he grabbed Burnett's wrist to interrupt her – “Let me finish” – and then left it there for the duration of his comment.
Physically silencing someone on live television, regardless of their gender, crosses one too many lines.
The internet was quick to notice.
Touchy-feely Giuliani pic.twitter.com/RdXncuOSg2— Jim Case (@mafwg) October 19, 2016
The reaction on Twitter pretty much summed it all up
this "i'm speaking, honey" death grip that rudy giuliani had on erin burnett's arm was inappropriate and gross https://t.co/5YVwLeDdiW— summer (@pismosummer) October 20, 2016
Touchy-feely? Like Giuliani when he was grasping this woman's arm earlier in the interview? Uncomfortable & creepy. Hands to yourself, RG. https://t.co/hjEqrqP42l— Rayna S (@RaynaS_ginger) October 20, 2016
look at this assclown. of COURSE he represents Trump.— Salman Ansari (@daretorant) October 20, 2016
also perfect example of not-so-subtle ways men silence/shush women while they talk. https://t.co/erJSZUa8PN
Full Contact Mansplain <shudders> https://t.co/tKOVSVw9t1— Erin Halloran (@ThatsMrLady2You) October 20, 2016
Watch the complete interview in the video below: