President Donald J. Trump came to Twitter claiming that he and his White House support breastfeeding just this past Monday. However, despite the current declaration, skeletons lingering in Trump’s not-so-closed closet seem to suggest he has either changed his mind very recently or is saving face toward the female population; a population who is not whole in supporting him as president of the United States, so it seems. Exit polls from CNN regarding the 2016 election showed only 41 percent of the female population polled were in support of Trump then. A more up to date examination of women in favor of Trump was given by the Chicago Tribune as well as the New York Times showing that his approval rating among women is plummeting as of 2018. In fact, just under 30 percent of white woman support the current president, and an even lower less than 11 percent of black women polled in Trump’s favor. This suggests a possibility that Trump and his administration could be trying to gain back at least slightly stronger female support by realigning their stance on hot topics around women’s rights.
Or it could be that he has taken offense to the public’s reaction toward his administration since its delegation to the U.N.-affiliated World Health Assembly reportedly tried to bully smaller, less wealthy nations into agreeing to water down an international resolution encouraging mothers to nurse over using formula, as cited by Mercury News.
Let us not overlook or forget Trump’s previous statements surrounding just the mere mention of breastfeeding when attorney Elizabeth Beck made it known that she needed to take a break during her deposition to pump breast milk for her 3-month-old daughter. At the time, Beck was questioning Trump in 2011 in a deposition for a lawsuit over a failed Florida real estate project. She claimed in her statements to the New York Times back in 2015 that Trump —then a real-estate mogul — and his lawyers objected. According to Beck, Trump exploded with a red face, full of anger at her request to excuse herself momentarily. She expressed the details to CNN as well.
“He got up, his face got red, he shook his finger at me and he screamed, ‘You’re disgusting, you’re disgusting,’ and he ran out of there.”
Disgusting, which is an extremely strong word to use when expressing one’s thoughts involving the natural functions of a female’s body — and amazing ability to nourish her child — poses to be, as Elle Magazine so eloquently put it, “…an unprecedented and bizarre fracas, sparked by the same qualities that seem destined to define the Trump administration: Proud ignorance, pointless belligerence, and a hostile cluelessness about anything related to women’s bodies.”
According to Trump, upon coming to his own defense and while not at all denying the comment to CNN, claimed he thought Beck meant to use the beast pump in front of him. Trump then went on to express his further disapproval and opinion on Beck’s abilities as an attorney.
“She wanted to breast pump in front of me and I may have said that’s disgusting, I may have said something else. I thought it was terrible. She’s a vicious, horrible person.”
Trump’s previous wife, Ivana, did not nurse his three older kids. In her 2017 memoir, Raising Trump, Ivana Trump stated that not only was she not a hands-on mother, but relied on nannies and was repelled by the idea of nursing the children. She told Slate the idea of breastfeeding was “totally unsexy” and that the act “grossed her out.”