Melania Trump believes that accused men in the #MeToo era should be supported, too.
This week, both Melania and Donald Trump have expressed support for men who are the targets of sexual assault allegations, saying that society is too quick to believe survivors and condemn the accused. In a Good Morning America interview that aired on Wednesday, Melania said that women who make accusations of sexual assault should be believed, but the men accused should be supported as well.
“I do stand with women, but we need to show the evidence,” Melania said (via Hollywood Life). “We need to have really hard evidence that you know, that if you are accused of something, show the evidence. You cannot just say to to somebody, I was, you know, sexually assaulted, or you did that to me, because sometimes the media goes too far, and the way they portray some stories, it’s not correct, it’s not right.”
But critics point out that this is exactly what Donald Trump did in his condemnation of the so-called Central Park Five, a group of four black teenagers and one Latino who were wrongly accused of rape in Central Park in 1989.
In that case, Donald Trump condemned the group and even took out a full-page newspaper ad calling on the state of New York to reinstate the death penalty in response. The teens, who confessed under harsh interrogation techniques by New York police, would later be exonerated of the rape by DNA evidence and the confession of another man in 2002. Matias Reyes would go on to confess that he, alone, had committed the rape.
But Donald Trump has not budged from his former stance, saying during the 2016 election that he still believed that members of the group were guilty of rape. While President Trump may be in the minority by holding this view, the issue of the Central Park Five — and their involvement in the events of that evening at Central Park in 1989 — is also more nuanced than contemporary discourse would have one believe, as Marni Soupcoff of the National Post opines.
Trump himself took a different stance this week after the confirmation of Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh, who faced allegations that he sexually assaulted women in high school and college. Donald Trump vehemently supported Kavanaugh, even saying that Democrats had drummed up the allegations against him as an “angry mob.” Trump also said that the #MeToo era is a “scary time for young men” who are accused of sexual assault.
Melania Trump says victims of sexual assault are responsible for collecting “really hard evidence.”— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) October 10, 2018
Otherwise, it seems, they should shut up. https://t.co/BXcjEKErlt
For their part, neither Donald nor Melania Trump have spoken in support of the Central Park Five at any time in the past or present.