Trump attacks gillibrand and blames democrats for women's allegations
Posted December 12, 2017 4:14 p.m. EST
Updated December 12, 2017 4:20 p.m. EST
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump aggressively returned to the issue of sexual harassment Tuesday, again dismissing his own accusers as fabricators and attacking a female Democratic senator as a “lightweight” who “would do anything” for campaign contributions.
The president’s attacks came in early morning Twitter posts after three of the accusers had come forward Monday to renew their charges from last year that Trump had sexually assaulted them before he entered politics, and after the senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., had called for him to resign.
Gillibrand was quick to fire back, saying she would not be silenced by a president whose comments she described as “a sexist smear.”
“It was a sexist smear attempting to silence my voice, and I will not be silenced on this issue,” she said. “Neither will the women who stood up to the president yesterday,” she added.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, later denied that Trump’s tweet contained a sexual reference, saying that he was referring to general corruption in the U.S. political system.
Senate Democrats, including Gillibrand, forced the resignation last week of Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., clearing away any ambiguity over their push to hold the president accountable after the claims of his accusers. About 60 Democratic women in Congress demanded an inquiry into the women’s allegations against the president, an unlikely prospect given Republican majorities in the House and Senate.
Gillibrand’s Senate colleagues quickly rallied to her side. Among the more forceful was Sen. Mazie Horono, D-Hawaii, who said on Twitter, “.@realDonaldTrump is a misogynist, compulsive liar, and admitted sexual predator. Attacks on Kirsten are the latest example that no one is safe from this bully. He must resign.”
The president was pointed in his criticism of Gillibrand, saying she “would do anything” for campaign contributions, without providing details about what he meant.
The president also blamed Democrats for the resurgence of accusations against him from women in the past, saying Tuesday that the “fabricated stories” were a result of Democrats being unable to prove his campaign colluded with the Russians.
Trump’s claims that he has “never met” his accusers do not appear to be credible. He has met at least five of the more than a dozen women who have accused him of sexual misconduct.