Now that the world knows Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was a career sexual predator, the fallout has taken a partisan turn. Since Weinstein was a prolific donor to progressive figures and groups, most notably Hillary Clinton, that history of philanthropy has been seized upon by the pro-Trump right who are calling on progressive politicians and organizations to return the money donated to them by Weinstein.
That sentiment is not wrong. Anyone, including the Clintons, who took money from Weinstein should make moves to rectify their past associations with him. But the glaring hypocrisy of President Trump’s most vocal supporters lecturing the rest of us on Weinstein’s predation can’t be ignored. In sum, Trump’s history of being the target of sexual assault/harassment claims is just as alarming as Weinstein’s. Weinstein was fired, and Trump is president.
During the 2016 campaign, the political world reeled when a tape was leaked featuring a 2005 hot mic conversation where Trump openly admitted to sexually assaulting women. But the specter of a GOP frontrunner bragging about the unsolicited grabbing of women’s genitalia didn’t seem to hurt his popularity amongst his base. If anything, it only entrenched them further.
Harvey Weinstein was fired. So what are we going to do about the sexual predator in the White House? Just keep letting him run the country?
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) October 10, 2017
Trump’s penchant for treating women like cattle has been public knowledge for years. If silence is complicity in the case of Weinstein, then it’s even more so for Trump. In October of last year, the BBC listed some of the sexual assault allegations against Trump, numbering 13 in total. In almost all the accounts, Trump forced himself on women who did not want his advances.
I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything — grab them by the p*ssy — you can do anything.
Trump’s own words from the Access Hollywood tape eerily line up with past sexual assault claims leveled against him.
According to Jessica Leeds, Trump groped her in the early 1980s when she was sitting beside him on a first-class flight to New York, saying he put his hands on her breasts and tried to force his hand up her skirt.
Rachel Crooks says Trump kissed her on the cheeks and “directly on the mouth” when she introduced herself to him in 2005. At the time Ms Crooks was a 22-year-old receptionist at Bayrock Group, a real estate firm based in Trump Tower.
Former writer for People Magazine Natasha Stoynoff alleges that Trump pushed her against a wall and forced his tongue down her throat at the Mar-a-Lago resort in back in 2005. Stoynoff says the incident happened during a break while she was interviewing Trump and his then-pregnant wife Melania.
This past July, Jill Harth told The Guardian that Trump groped her and cornered her in a bedroom at Mar-a-Lago in 1993, saying Trump pushed her “up against the wall, and had his hands all over me and tried to get up my dress again… I had to physically say: ‘What are you doing? Stop it.'”
Former contestant on The Apprentice Summer Zervos alleges she was sexually assaulted by Trump in 2007 after he invited her to discuss employment opportunities, saying she was sitting next to him on a sofa where he “grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me again very aggressively and placed his hand on my breast,” ultimately trying get her in the bedroom where began “thrusting his genitals” against her.
Kristin Anderson told The Washington Post that while at a New York nightclub in the 1990s, Trump reached up her skirt and groped her. “It wasn’t a sexual come-on, she said “I don’t know why he did it. It was like just to prove that he could do it, and nothing would happen.”
To clarify, this piece is not an attempt to redirect attention away from Weinstein’s alleged sex crimes. It’s an attempt to highlight the inborn hypocrisy that accompanies support for Trump. Just as with any cult leader, his sins are constantly whitewashed by his supporters. The most ardent Scientologist couldn’t give a more devoted defense of L. Ron Hubbard.
Thankfully, the hypocrisy of Trumplandia speaking out on Weinstein isn’t lost on rational conservatives. Writing in the National Review, Jonah Goldberg says that if you “decry piggish behavior only when it helps your side, or if you think accusers are telling the truth only when they speak up about people you hate (or don’t need professionally), then you don’t actually care about sexual harassment.”
Steve Bannon’s Breitbart.com reported this week that Weinstein had visited the Obama White House 13 times. The horror! This is the same Bannon who insists that the first and greatest test of loyalty to Trump was whether you supported him after the Access Hollywood video was released.
I can’t wait for Sean Hannity to ask Bill O’Reilly — ousted from Fox for his crude sexual behavior — to opine on the latest news about those pervs in Hollyweird.