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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 9:15 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.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32888

Reported Deaths: 1188
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds264246
DeSoto176718
Madison135536
Jones115949
Neshoba101673
Harrison100312
Rankin99915
Lauderdale93781
Forrest92743
Scott78515
Jackson70417
Copiah62715
Washington62610
Leake59820
Lee57521
Holmes57041
Oktibbeha55728
Wayne55116
Warren54020
Yazoo5336
Grenada5227
Lowndes51513
Leflore50756
Lamar5007
Lincoln49234
Pike46617
Sunflower4368
Monroe43135
Lafayette4194
Covington3965
Panola3926
Bolivar37018
Attala36523
Simpson3603
Newton35210
Adams33218
Tate31912
Pontotoc3166
Marion30812
Chickasaw29119
Claiborne28910
Winston28210
Noxubee2738
Pearl River26932
Jasper2666
Marshall2643
Clay25111
Smith23412
Union23311
Coahoma2136
Clarke21125
Walthall2087
Lawrence1892
Yalobusha1838
Kemper17914
Carroll17111
Humphreys1569
Tallahatchie1564
Montgomery1432
Calhoun1425
Tippah14211
Itawamba1408
Hancock13413
Webster12811
Tunica1153
Jefferson1143
Jefferson Davis1144
Prentiss1113
Greene1089
Amite1043
George943
Wilkinson949
Tishomingo911
Quitman891
Alcorn762
Perry764
Choctaw754
Stone722
Franklin472
Benton420
Sharkey400
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 46424

Reported Deaths: 1032
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson5687161
Mobile4315136
Montgomery4275109
Tuscaloosa238248
Marshall181511
Madison16208
Lee146337
Shelby141424
Morgan11575
Baldwin10399
Walker101825
Elmore97519
Dallas9189
Franklin90616
Etowah83413
DeKalb7905
Chambers64727
Autauga64312
Butler63728
Tallapoosa60669
Russell5890
Unassigned53826
Houston5366
Limestone5251
Lauderdale5146
Cullman4905
Lowndes47922
Pike4525
Colbert4426
St. Clair4402
Escambia4358
Calhoun4035
Coffee3923
Covington38110
Bullock36910
Barbour3622
Jackson3432
Talladega3337
Dale3261
Marengo32011
Hale31722
Wilcox2958
Clarke2876
Sumter28512
Winston2773
Chilton2762
Blount2581
Monroe2442
Pickens2446
Marion24114
Randolph2289
Conecuh2187
Macon2029
Choctaw19912
Bibb1981
Greene1888
Perry1791
Henry1403
Crenshaw1253
Washington1217
Lawrence1130
Cherokee1117
Geneva860
Lamar801
Fayette721
Clay692
Coosa601
Cleburne391
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