Thursday, November 16, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He condemned sexual harassment by people he doesn't like.

Sen. Al Franken was accused today by a radio broadcaster of making unwanted sexual contact with her during rehearsal on a 2006 USO tour. Leeann Tweeden also posted a photograph, apparently taken while she slept on a military plane, of Franken pantomiming groping her while grinning at the camera. Amid bipartisan calls for a Senate Ethics Committee investigation into the matter, Franken released a statement apologizing to Tweeden, saying he was "ashamed" of his behavior and stressing the need to take victims of sexual misconduct seriously when they report it.

Trump, who had spent much of the day avoiding questions about his support for Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore and the nine women (at last count) who have accused him of predatory behavior toward them while he was an adult and they were teenagers, took to Twitter to taunt "Al Frankenstein."

Trump, of "grab 'em by the pussy" fame, has been accused of sexual assault and harassment by sixteen women. That figure does not include his first wife Ivana Trump, who used the word "rape" in a legal deposition to describe a violent sexual encounter with him, or the various pageant contestants (including some as young as 15 years old) who corroborated Trump's own admission that he would use his position as owner to barge in on their dressing rooms in the hope of seeing them naked.

Trump continues to maintain that every single woman who has ever accused him of grabbing them, harassing them, peeping on them, or sexually pressuring them, is a liar.

Why does this matter?

  • It's really bad if the President of the United States can't condemn sexual misconduct without calling attention to his own behavior.
  • Whether the victim of sexual assault or harassment matters does not depend on the politics of the perpetrator.