Tuesday, February 20, 2018

What did Donald Trump do today?

He got caught in another "better hope there are no tapes" moment, this time with one of the women he's accused of sexually assaulting.

Rachel Crooks is a candidate for the Ohio Legislature, and one of the 19 women who have accused Trump of making unwanted sexual contact with them. In her case, it took place in Trump Tower, where she worked in 2006 as a receptionist for a company with offices there. She says that immediately after being introduced, Trump began kissing her, first on the cheek, and then more forcibly on the lips. She e-mailed her mother and sister about the encounter the same day.

Crooks was profiled in the Washington Post this morning, which appears to have been enough to prompt a furious two-tweet response from Trump, in which he rhetorically asked, "Who would do this in a public space with live security cameras?"

According to Donald Trump himself, one person who might do such a thing is Donald Trump. A few months before he met Crooks, he was recorded by Access Hollywood microphones describing his preferred seduction technique:
You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. 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.
As for security cameras, Crooks had an answer that recalled James Comey's response when Trump threatened to catch him out with "tapes" that never materialized:
Trump's encounter with Crooks occurred about a year after he married his third wife Melania, six months before the sexual encounter that porn actress Stormy Daniels told In Touch magazine about, and five months before former Playboy model Karen McDougal wrote that she had sex with Trump and he tried to pay her afterwards.

Trump has repeatedly declared that nobody respects women more than he does.

Why is this a problem?

  • It's bad if a president is credibly accused by many women of exactly the same pattern of abusive behavior.
  • At this point, Trump should probably have learned not to threaten people with "tapes" he can't produce.