The Repulsive “Official White House Position” Is That All 15+ Women Who Accused Trump Are “Lying”
During Friday’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked (at approximately the 8:15 mark in the above video) about the dozens of sexual harassment and assault allegations levied against Donald Trump. “Obviously, sexual harassment has been in the news,” said a reporter from CBS News. “At least 16 women accused the president of sexually harassing them throughout the course of the campaign. Last week, during a press conference in the Rose Garden, the president called these accusations ‘fake news.’ Is the official White House position that all of these women are lying?”
Sanders responded: “Yeah, we’ve been clear on that from the beginning, and the president has spoken on it.”
The Trump administration doesn’t even feel enough shame to use the equivocation of most abusers. There’s no language of “misunderstanding,” or “misreading.” There’s just the aggressive accusation that more than a dozen women simultaneously decided to make up the same lie. As with many of this administration’s responses to the harm that Trump (allegedly) causes, from insulting veterans’ families to failing Puerto Rico, it’s disturbingly bold-faced and completely devoid of empathy.
The obvious follow-up question here is whether Sanders would also advise us to disbelieve Trump himself, who famously bragged about his sexual misconduct. Talking with Billy Bush, he bragged about committing sexual assault: “I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything… grab them by the pussy.” Talking to Howard Stern, he bragged about sexually harassing pageant contestants: “I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant…You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. And you see these incredible-looking women. And so I sort of get away with things like that.”
Are we supposed to treat these, too, as lies?
As sexually harassed and assaulted workers continue to share their stories and advocate for safer, more equitable workplaces, we all have to push for a better world knowing that our opposition sits in the highest office of the United States. We now have a White House whose official, stated position on sexual harassment is don’t believe women.
(Via The Guardian; image via screengrab)
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