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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: 289303

Reported Deaths: 3434
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin616511100
Ramsey25903487
Anoka20522218
Dakota20096183
Washington13066109
Stearns1291098
St. Louis7935101
Scott782754
Wright702436
Olmsted626134
Sherburne538640
Clay463856
Carver432213
Blue Earth387112
Rice386033
Kandiyohi373819
Crow Wing334631
Nobles298729
Chisago29358
Otter Tail282818
Benton278642
Winona258128
Mower241323
Douglas237631
Polk234423
Morrison219524
Lyon201911
McLeod195610
Beltrami194615
Becker187512
Goodhue185727
Steele17826
Itasca176124
Isanti174316
Todd171612
Carlton165710
Nicollet150823
Freeborn14465
Mille Lacs141630
Le Sueur138110
Waseca134011
Cass12849
Brown125011
Pine12458
Meeker11308
Roseau10503
Hubbard103822
Martin101920
Wabasha9611
Redwood83718
Dodge8060
Chippewa8057
Watonwan7984
Cottonwood7682
Renville75119
Sibley7414
Wadena7376
Aitkin69826
Rock6829
Pipestone67818
Houston6422
Fillmore6320
Yellow Medicine59311
Pennington5856
Kanabec54912
Murray5493
Swift5366
Faribault5081
Pope4990
Stevens4643
Clearwater4536
Marshall4438
Jackson4361
Unassigned38759
Lake3816
Koochiching3535
Wilkin3465
Lac qui Parle3383
Norman3227
Lincoln3171
Big Stone2841
Mahnomen2704
Grant2516
Red Lake2033
Kittson1917
Traverse1360
Lake of the Woods931
Cook600

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 222064

Reported Deaths: 2319
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk33019331
Linn13877164
Scott1085683
Black Hawk10730134
Woodbury10159121
Johnson935536
Dubuque907691
Story669721
Dallas624657
Pottawattamie612469
Sioux364625
Webster353033
Marshall343545
Cerro Gordo342644
Clinton319839
Buena Vista300014
Des Moines281719
Muscatine280968
Warren274011
Plymouth268941
Wapello251171
Jones227913
Jasper212443
Marion201719
Lee197916
Carroll195422
Bremer191312
Henry18037
Crawford173015
Benton166217
Tama152240
Jackson142113
Delaware140221
Washington137414
Dickinson134210
Boone134011
Mahaska125327
Wright12156
Buchanan115010
Clay11314
Hardin113010
Page11134
Hamilton10809
Clayton10715
Harrison106129
Cedar104913
Calhoun10487
Kossuth10236
Floyd102216
Mills10177
Fayette10159
Lyon10058
Poweshiek97913
Butler9746
Winneshiek95412
Iowa92312
Winnebago90223
Hancock8497
Louisa83916
Grundy83811
Chickasaw8354
Sac8297
Cherokee8134
Cass79721
Appanoose77310
Mitchell7704
Allamakee76811
Union7546
Humboldt7525
Shelby75010
Emmet74724
Guthrie73715
Franklin72921
Jefferson6852
Madison6734
Palo Alto6454
Unassigned6320
Keokuk5737
Pocahontas5532
Howard5419
Greene5160
Osceola5131
Clarke4774
Ida46813
Taylor4563
Davis4508
Montgomery44911
Monroe43712
Adair4298
Monona4212
Fremont3543
Van Buren3525
Worth3520
Lucas3216
Decatur3150
Wayne2957
Audubon2942
Ringgold2022
Adams1642
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