CNN host mounts surprising defense of Rep. Nancy Mace over her viral argument with George Stephanopoulos about Trump support

CNN anchor Kasie Hunt is defending Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) over viral argument with George Stephanopoulos.

On Sunday, Stephanopoulos used the fact that Mace is a rape survivor to question her political support for Donald Trump. The suggestion implicit in his question was that Mace’s support for Trump contradicts her experience as a rape victim because a civil jury found Trump liable of sexual abuse. That jury, contrary to Stephanopoulos’ repeated assertions, did not find him liable for rape.

On Monday, Hunt asked her fellow CNN host, Michael Smerconish, about the argument. But he admonished Mace for allegedly not answering Stephanopoulos’ question.

“I’m sympathetic to her as a rape victim, but, despite the fact that she’s a rape victim, she should have answered the question he was asking, which is: How can you, of all people, be comfortable supporting him?” Smerconish said.

But Hunt disagreed. In fact, she explained why Mace objected to Stephanopoulos’ question, identifying that its premise was problematic.

“Here’s the thing where I get hung up on it, though, and I think this is what she was trying to say, is that just because she happens to be the victim of rape doesn’t mean that she needs to let that victimhood define her and her future choices — regardless of what anybody else thinks — about how she should feel about someone who commits those kinds of crimes,” Hunt explained.

“Do you think it should be OK to let the rapist have that kind of power over her future life?” she asked rhetorically.

And when Smerconish defended Stephanopoulos’ question as “totally appropriate,” Hunt pushed back again.

“Well, I mean, I think it’s just that the fact that it was put in those terms: Like, as a rape victim, how could you?” she said.

Mace confirmed on Monday that she will not be returning to ABC News in the near future.

“I won’t be going back on ABC anytime soon. I told [Stephanopoulos] as I was walking out, ‘Good effing luck getting me back on,'” Mace recounted in an interview on NewsNation.

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