Saturday, April 1, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

In what is absolutely not an April Fools' joke, he observed the first day of what he has declared to be National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. [Ed.: Please click through to that link to verify. In all seriousness, this is not a joke.]

Trump was accused of rape by his first wife, Ivana, in a sworn deposition given during their divorce proceedings. Behind the scenes of an Access Hollywood taping, Trump bragged about his method of approaching women: "Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything." In the same 2005 tape, the newly-married Trump spoke graphically about his attempt to have sex with Access Hollywood host Nancy O'Dell--"I moved on her like a bitch"--but admitted his failure. Two years later, Trump attempted to have O'Dell fired as the host of his Miss USA pageant. Trump admitted live on the Howard Stern radio show to peeping on naked beauty pageant contestants, which he said he got away with because he was the owner. This was corroborated by multiple Trump beauty pageant contestants, some of whom were as young as 15 at the time. Another pageant contestant has said that Trump kissed her twice without permission, and Trump's sense of ownership of his contestants' bodies led to his public humiliation of Miss Universe winner Alicia Machado. When the matter resurfaced during the 2016 debates, Trump falsely claimed that Machado had a sex tape. During a taping for Entertainment Tonight in 1992, when he was 42, Trump made a suggestive remark to a 10-year-old, saying that he would be dating her in ten years. He made a similar overture to 14-year-olds in the same year, in remarks reprinted in the Los Angeles Times. This also echoes comments he made in 2003 about family friend Paris Hilton, when a conversation with Howard Stern about Hilton's sex tape, which Trump had watched, prompted Trump to admit that he had noticed how attractive she was at 12 years old. In all, ten women came forward during the presidential campaign alone to describe incidents of sexual assault or coercion Trump committed against them. The above constitutes a partial list of sexual assaults or harassment admitted by or attributed to Trump.

April 1st, also known as April Fools' Day, is a day on which Americans indulge in pranks or jokes. Media outlets frequently join in on the fun, running "fake news" stories of the humorous kind. This is not one of them.

Why is this so bad?

  • A president who has openly bragged about committing sexual assault is hard to take seriously on the subject of sexual assault prevention.
  • This is not an April Fools' joke.