When it comes to dismissing the claims of the at least 19 women who have accused him of sexual assault or misconduct, President Trump has done it all: flat denials, official denials, non-denial denials, victim-shaming (ah, the gallant cry of “she would not be my first choice”). But today, Trump is trying a new self-defense on for size: Who does that?
In response to Rachel Crooks, one of the aforementioned 19 accusers, who says Trump forcibly kissed her at Trump Tower in 2006, repeating her account to The Washington Post in a story published this week—in the hopes that, as in the cases of countless other powerful men, maybe someone will actually start listening to her and take Trump to task—the president, true to form, responded via Twitter.
Who could possibly be brazen enough to forcibly kiss a woman in a public elevator bank? The same person, possibly, who bragged about grabbing women by the pussy while sitting in a television bus and wearing a hot microphone. Or, according to other Trump accusers, the guy who groped women on airplanes, in restaurants, and at business meetings. “Who would do this?” According to at least 19 women, um, you.
It’s an especially flimsy defense when you consider that Trump’s whole personal brand is built on saying and doing things that other people don’t have the guts or gall to; someone who basically prides himself on bucking decorum and serving up bombastic “real talk.” Suddenly, people are to assume that Trump would be on his best and most upstanding behavior in the lobby of every building that bears his name? Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Trump golf caddy turned social media director Dan Scavino: It may be time to workshop another talking point, especially because Crooks’s story isn’t going away anytime soon. She’s running for state office this year in Ohio.
“I don’t want money. I don’t need a lawsuit. I just want people to listen,” Crooks told the Post. “How many women have to come forward? What will it take to get a response?”