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Jake Tapper: Trump's remarks show a pattern

President Trump defended his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and attacked the woman who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations. CNN's Jake Tapper says this isn't the first time Trump has defended a man accused of horrific acts against women.

Posted: Sep 23, 2018 9:31 PM
Updated: Sep 23, 2018 9:36 PM

Donald Trump may be unpredictable, but he's been pretty consistent in one way: Standing up for men accused of being abusive to women, while at the same time seeking to undermine their female accusers. This November, in the first national election since the start of the #MeToo movement, Trump and the Republican Party may pay a price for it.

President Trump's most recent defense of his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and attacks against Kavanaugh's accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, will not help his party's cause. Just look at how Trump has spoken about Kavanaugh and Ford after we learned of the allegation that Kavanaugh physically and sexually assaulted Ford while they were both in high school -- an allegation which Kavanaugh vehemently denies. Trump has been publicly heaping praise on Kavanaugh, calling him a "great gentleman" and a person with an "outstanding intellect" who "never even had a little blemish on his record." Trump even expressed his sympathy to Kavanaugh's family, saying he felt "terribly for them" for having to endure the consequences of Ford's allegation -- including threats made against the nominee.

But when it comes to Ford, there's no support, empathy or compassion. Though Trump initially said she should be heard, on Thursday, Trump said, it's "very hard for me to imagine that anything happened" in regard to Ford's claim. Then, on Friday, Trump took to Twitter to further attack her integrity: "I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents." And despite Ford having reportedly "been the target of vicious harassment and even death threats" which forced her family to flee their home, Trump hasn't offered one word of sympathy to her family.

But this is nothing new. For decades, Trump has taken the side of men over the women who have bravely come forward to report they had been victims of abuse. One of the first examples was in 1992, when Trump defended boxer Mike Tyson even after Tyson had been convicted of rape. Trump publicly claimed Tyson was "railroaded in the case" and he even suggested that the victim, Desiree Washington, was at fault to some degree, saying, "You have a young woman that was in his hotel room late in the evening at her own will."

Then there were Bill Clinton's sex scandals involving Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky and others. Trump publicly sided with Clinton, who he called the "victim," as he blasted the accusers as a "terrible group of people," adding they were also physically "unattractive." Of course, in 2016, when it was politically expedient, Trump called several of Bill Clinton's accusers "courageous" and invited them to Trump's debate against Hillary Clinton.

But that same year we saw Trump defend former Fox News chief Roger Ailes after 25 women came forward to accuse him of sexual harassment and misconduct. Trump even said the victims were being ungrateful: "I can tell you that some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he's helped them," as he defended Ailes as "a very, very good person." Ailes denied the allegations.

In 2017, Trump defended two more men accused of being abusive to women. First, there was Fox News's Bill O'Reilly. "I don't think Bill did anything wrong," said Trump. (O'Reilly surely appreciated Trump's comment, since he still maintains his innocence.) And then Trump infamously sided with Republican US Senate candidate Roy Moore over the various women who reported inappropriate conduct by Moore -- declaring, "Look, he denies it."

Perhaps the vilest example came in February of this year when Trump defended his then-aide Rob Porter who had been accused of being physically abusive to his two ex-wives, Colbie Holderness and Jennifer Willoughby, accusations that Porter denied. Despite the public release of a photo of Holderness with a black eye, Trump, as usual, didn't show any support for the two women. Trump only expressed concern for Porter, saying, "We certainly wish him well. It's obviously a very tough time for him. ... We hope that he will have a wonderful career."

And, of course, Trump did the same when numerous women in the closing weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign alleged Trump had sexually assaulted them -- allegations he, not surprisingly, denied. Trump responded at an October 2016 rally that these women were all "liars," to the cheers of his supporters.

Trump won the 2016 presidential election, but that was before the #MeToo movement took off. The question now is -- come November, will Trump finally be held accountable? True, Trump isn't on the ballot, but midterm elections are generally seen as a referendum on the President.

And polling shows Trump, and the GOP by extension, could be in big trouble with America's women. In the 2016 election, Trump received the support of 41% of female voters. How is Trump faring today?

A recent CNN poll found that only 29% of women approve of the job Trump is doing as president -- compared to 42% of men.

My hope is that female voters -- along with their allies -- will vote in large numbers this Election Day to send a message to Trump that women should be believed, not demonized. If that happens, it will mean that #MeToo is no longer just a cultural movement but a powerful electoral one as well.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 589527

Reported Deaths: 7333
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1221311726
Ramsey51028871
Dakota45667448
Anoka41421437
Washington26724281
Stearns22139221
St. Louis17682302
Scott17201124
Wright15943139
Olmsted1319098
Sherburne1160286
Carver1044945
Clay812792
Rice8014106
Blue Earth746141
Crow Wing660988
Kandiyohi652083
Chisago592551
Otter Tail572978
Benton565997
Goodhue475772
Douglas464674
Mower464032
Winona452950
Itasca432254
McLeod421658
Isanti417364
Morrison417360
Nobles407248
Beltrami392458
Steele384915
Polk382468
Becker378850
Lyon359850
Carlton344153
Freeborn341129
Pine326722
Nicollet323843
Brown304640
Mille Lacs302452
Le Sueur289222
Todd280632
Cass269628
Meeker254340
Waseca236522
Martin229831
Roseau207919
Wabasha20483
Hubbard187141
Dodge18373
Renville178943
Redwood172936
Houston171515
Cottonwood164321
Fillmore155510
Wadena155122
Pennington153619
Chippewa151838
Faribault151319
Kanabec143424
Sibley142510
Aitkin134236
Watonwan13219
Rock128019
Jackson121711
Pipestone115126
Yellow Medicine113820
Pope10956
Murray10609
Swift104918
Stevens90211
Marshall88017
Clearwater86416
Koochiching81715
Lake80819
Wilkin80712
Lac qui Parle75022
Big Stone5984
Lincoln5773
Grant5678
Mahnomen5459
Norman5399
Unassigned48793
Kittson48522
Red Lake3957
Traverse3685
Lake of the Woods3223
Cook1610

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 366197

Reported Deaths: 5929
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk57488623
Linn20814334
Scott19960240
Black Hawk15785308
Woodbury15121228
Johnson1445783
Dubuque13355209
Dallas1116198
Pottawattamie11091168
Story1059248
Warren575888
Clinton554393
Cerro Gordo538089
Sioux513874
Webster512193
Marshall482175
Muscatine477499
Des Moines454366
Wapello4297122
Buena Vista424540
Jasper418672
Plymouth400680
Lee375055
Marion361775
Jones298157
Henry291137
Carroll285452
Bremer283960
Crawford265840
Boone263934
Benton256055
Washington253950
Dickinson247843
Mahaska229951
Jackson221242
Clay215325
Kossuth215264
Delaware209240
Tama209271
Winneshiek196934
Page192622
Buchanan190731
Cedar189423
Hardin184943
Fayette184841
Wright184336
Hamilton179449
Harrison179373
Clayton169256
Butler164634
Mills161722
Madison161519
Floyd160342
Cherokee158738
Lyon157741
Poweshiek154733
Allamakee151151
Iowa148324
Hancock147634
Winnebago141731
Calhoun138113
Cass137954
Grundy136233
Emmet134040
Jefferson132435
Shelby130737
Sac130119
Union128133
Appanoose128049
Louisa127849
Mitchell126042
Chickasaw123915
Guthrie121030
Franklin119321
Humboldt118826
Palo Alto112523
Howard104522
Montgomery103338
Clarke99924
Unassigned9770
Keokuk95631
Monroe95129
Ida90334
Adair86432
Pocahontas85322
Davis82824
Monona82830
Osceola78516
Greene77610
Lucas77123
Worth7438
Taylor65712
Fremont6229
Decatur6089
Van Buren55618
Ringgold55524
Wayne53723
Audubon50810
Adams3384
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