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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: 485655

Reported Deaths: 6558
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1007641586
Ramsey43106801
Dakota36297390
Anoka33293385
Washington22078256
Stearns18734201
St. Louis14805262
Scott13290107
Wright12526115
Olmsted1178988
Sherburne872872
Carver772640
Clay691587
Rice670491
Blue Earth594735
Kandiyohi579574
Crow Wing520681
Chisago499045
Otter Tail482170
Benton446490
Winona418349
Mower404731
Douglas392668
Nobles387047
Goodhue385768
Polk343162
McLeod339349
Beltrami337951
Morrison324547
Itasca313046
Lyon313044
Becker311342
Isanti306154
Steele300411
Carlton300149
Pine282016
Freeborn280723
Nicollet258641
Todd248030
Brown245037
Le Sueur235320
Mille Lacs227447
Cass220024
Waseca208717
Meeker207434
Martin189528
Wabasha18653
Roseau180217
Hubbard160640
Houston157314
Dodge15224
Renville149640
Redwood147027
Fillmore13728
Chippewa136335
Cottonwood134820
Pennington134416
Wadena130920
Faribault123017
Aitkin118833
Sibley117310
Watonwan11738
Rock115714
Kanabec107519
Pipestone101424
Yellow Medicine97617
Murray9448
Jackson93510
Swift87918
Pope8045
Marshall77815
Stevens7418
Lake74018
Clearwater71914
Lac qui Parle68416
Wilkin67110
Koochiching61811
Big Stone5163
Lincoln5062
Grant4918
Norman4788
Unassigned46768
Mahnomen4417
Kittson40921
Red Lake3625
Traverse3055
Lake of the Woods2191
Cook1180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 362827

Reported Deaths: 5440
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58260551
Linn20670313
Scott18318210
Black Hawk16258292
Woodbury14979211
Johnson1384874
Dubuque13562194
Dallas1138690
Pottawattamie10791143
Story1024945
Warren556674
Clinton543784
Cerro Gordo533782
Webster519587
Marshall497272
Sioux494869
Buena Vista474537
Des Moines458861
Muscatine452291
Wapello4345108
Jasper417766
Plymouth395378
Lee375452
Marion359169
Jones294154
Henry293337
Carroll286249
Bremer280854
Crawford275135
Boone259730
Washington254347
Benton253854
Mahaska224746
Jackson221638
Dickinson217840
Tama213765
Kossuth208555
Clay193625
Hamilton192142
Delaware189140
Winneshiek189127
Buchanan185729
Fayette185235
Page183319
Hardin181439
Wright179931
Harrison179469
Cedar178523
Clayton168154
Butler167231
Mills163020
Floyd162741
Cherokee154836
Madison154718
Poweshiek154330
Hancock147130
Allamakee146747
Lyon145941
Iowa145023
Appanoose139247
Grundy139230
Jefferson138734
Winnebago138631
Cass134751
Calhoun133811
Mitchell130940
Louisa128241
Union126631
Chickasaw125215
Sac124618
Emmet121740
Shelby121733
Franklin118319
Humboldt117925
Guthrie116628
Palo Alto105221
Montgomery104136
Howard102921
Clarke100420
Unassigned9900
Keokuk98229
Monroe93328
Adair92128
Ida91432
Pocahontas85419
Davis83123
Monona81627
Greene77510
Lucas74021
Osceola70615
Worth6997
Taylor66612
Fremont5909
Decatur5829
Van Buren56118
Ringgold52320
Wayne48921
Audubon4889
Adams3274
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