Public Lambastes Donald Trump Who Is Accused Of Rape And Sexual Assault For Hypocrisy

Amongst the furor of seemingly endless allegations of sexual assault that have been dominating the news in recent weeks, President Donald Trump has called for swift action to be taken against the men who have been accused. However, members of the public and the political and celebrity elite have rebuked Trump for hypocrisy as he too has been accused of rape, attempted rape, and sexual assault.

The most recent high profile figure to be accused of sexual misconduct is Senator Al Franken, a prominent Trump critic, and political adversary. The president wasted no time before taking to Twitter to add his thoughts to the public conversation about the unfolding scandal.

Referring to the Senator as “Al Frankenstien [sic],” the president brought attention to an incident in 1995 when Franken, then a staff writer for Saturday Night Live, proposed a skit in which he was apparently going to take journalist Lesley Stahl “to the closet and rape her.”

Franken and other SNL writers were being interviewed by New York Magazine when they discussed plot ideas for a sketch about then-60 Minutes host Andy Rooney finding a bottle of pills in his desk drawer.

During the interview, Franken says, ”And, I give the pills to Lesley Stahl. Then, when Lesley’s passed out, I take her to the closet and rape her.”

Late Thursday night, Trump tweeted, “And to think that just last week he was lecturing anyone who would listen about sexual harassment and respect for women. Lesley Stahl tape?”

But social media users were quick to point out the president’s hypocrisy, not only regarding his relative silence on allegations of sexual misconduct against fellow Republican and conservative allies but also because of Trump’s handling of the claims that have been leveled against him.

More specifically, the now infamous audio that captured Trump making vulgar remarks about women and bragging that he could “do anything” to them resurfaced and was widely discussed on social media. Thus far, Trump has been accused of rape, attempted rape, sexual harassment or sexual assault by at least 16 women.

Nevertheless, Trump has repeatedly denied the allegations.

In June 2016, a woman named only as “Jane Doe” filed a lawsuit against then-presidential candidate Trump and his billionaire friend, Jeffrey Epstein, a registered sex offender. The allegations that formed the basis for the lawsuit were that Trump and Epstein allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl at a social event in 1994. According to a witness, the child was made to perform sexual acts on Trump and Epstein despite the fact that they had been told she was a minor.

The lawsuit was dropped in November 2016, citing “numerous threats” against “Jane Doe” as the reason.

Trump’s first wife, Ivana, has previously alleged that the president raped her in 1989. The incident was described as a “violent assault,” in which Trump pulled out fistfuls of Ivana’s hair. In a book written by former Newsweek reporter Harry Hurt III, the alleged incident is described in great detail.

“He jams his penis inside her for the first time in more than sixteen months. Ivana is terrified. According to versions she repeats to some of her closest confidants, ‘he raped me.'”

Ivana later stated that she didn’t want her “words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense.”

In 1997, a former colleague of Trump, Jill Harth, claimed that he had attempted to rape her and groped her without consent numerous times. Moreover, Harth alleged that, while staying at the Mar-a-Lago resort, Trump allegedly threw her against a wall before lifting up her dress.

“It was a shocking thing to have him do this because he knew I was with [her partner], he knew they were in the next room. How could he be doing this when I’m there for business?”

Trump has denied all three accusations.

“It’s just fake. It’s fake. It’s made-up stuff. It’s disgraceful what happens, but that happens in the—that happens in the world of politics.”

Despite Trump dismissing the women who have accused him, he has been much more supportive of women that are now accusing some of his political and social foes. According to a report by the Washington Post, Trump’s responses to more recent allegations of sexual misconduct have been markedly different for Democrats than for conservatives.

Minnesota Democratic Senate candidate Al Franken talks to reporters on Capitol Hill
Senator Al Franken of Minnesota apologised on Thursday after being accused of sexually harassing the journalist Leeann Tweeden in 2006. [Image by Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Images]

News about Franken broke on Thursday morning following accusations by radio news anchor Leeann Tweeden that the senator aggressively kissed her without her permission accompanied by a photo that showed Franken appearing to grope her breasts as she slept on a plane. Trump was quick to respond, which is when he was accused of hypocrisy.

But White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied that Trump treats Democrats any differently from Republicans, highlighting Trump’s response to the Roy Moore allegations as an example. Sanders also pointed out what she believed to be a critical difference between the accusations against Franken and those against Trump.

“Senator Franken has admitted wrongdoing, and the president hasn’t. I think that’s a very clear distinction.”

However, CNN host Jake Tapper has provided an alternative view.

[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]