Trump Responds to Sexual Harassment Allegations by Sexually Harassing a Senator

Gillibrand & Trump

Donald Trump sexually harassed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) after she highlighted his sexual harassment allegations and called for his resignation. The harassment came in the form of communication most preferred by the tweeter-in-chief.

The Allegations & Calls To Resign

Following the surge of women coming forward to confront the men who have sexually harassed them (thanks in large part to support provided by the #MeToo movement), a handful of Donald Trump’s sexual harassment and assault accusers came forward again to remind the public he has never been held accountable for his own sordid history.

At least 19 accusers exist with varying degrees of evidence, yet Trump outright denies all allegations (something Republicans seem to believe exonerates them from accountability – particularly in the case of Roy Moore).

Trump accusers Rachel Crooks (L), Jessica Leeds (C), & Samantha Holvey (R)

Photo: VOA

Trump renewed his attack on women today after three of his accusers renewed their calls for justice this week appearing in interviews and holding a press conference.

The women—Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey, and Rachel Crooks—recounted their stories during two media events Monday and asked why it was acceptable for the president to escape the kind of scrutiny other politicians and high-profile figures have experienced in light of the national conversation around sexual harassment in recent months. “Let’s try this again,” Holvey said.

“If they were willing to investigate Sen. [Al] Franken, it’s only fair that they do the same for Trump,” Crooks said during a press conference hosted by Brave New Films, a liberal documentary production company that released 16 Women and Trump, which focuses on Trump’s accusers and sexual misconduct allegations.

In October 2016, Leeds and Crooks told the New York Times that Trump inappropriately touched them—Leeds during an incident decades before as she sat in a plane seat next to Trump, Crooks while she worked as a receptionist for a real estate company located in Trump Tower in Manhattan. That same month, Holvey described to CNN how Trump would gawk at her and other beauty pageant contestants while they prepared backstage for events.

“We’re private citizens, and for us to put ourselves out there to try to show America who this man is, especially how he views women, and for them to say, ‘We don’t care,’ it hurt,” Holvey said in a separate appearance on Megyn Kelly Today. “Now it’s just like, all right, let’s try round two. The environment’s different. Let’s try again.”

Following the renewed call by his accusers for an investigation, four Democrats (including Senator Gillibrand) came forward demanding Trump resign over the allegations.

Trump Lashes Out

Early this morning Trump published two tweets directed at the accusers and Democratic Senators who asked for his resignation:


While the former tweet appears to target all four Democrats who stood up to him this week, the latter singled out the only woman in the four-person Democratic senatorial group that called for his resignation. The other three senators were Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Cory Booker (D-NJ).

That he singled out the one woman in the group for additional vitriolic outrage and sexual innuendo only reinforces the allegations Trump’s accusers continue to make against him.

Response

Backlash to Trump’s misogynistic and targeted harassment of Senator Gillibrand was immediate and harsh.

The Senator immediately responded via Twitter saying:

Here’s what others had to say:

The Facts

Trump may be referring to donations he made a decade ago to Gillibrand’s campaign committee (and then again in 2010). Ivanka Trump also donated to Senator Gillibrand’s campaign in 2014.

Despite those donations, Senator Gillibrand was one of the first lawmakers to call for Trump’s resignation (just as she was the first Democratic Senator to call for Al Franken’s resignation as a part of her larger campaign against sexual harassment and assault).

Whether he believes Gillibrand has no room to speak out against him because of those donations or because she’s a woman, Trump’s tweet singling out Gillibrand using sexual innuendo appears to be the latest in a long series of on-the-record comments using sexist and misogynistic language to refer to and/or attack women.

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Tim Peacock is the Managing Editor and founder of Peacock Panache and has worked as a civil rights advocate for over twenty years. During that time he’s worn several hats including leading on campus LGBT advocacy in the University of Missouri campus system, interning with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, and volunteering at advocacy organizations. You can learn more about him at his personal website.

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