Trump Goes After Franken In Tweet, Ignores Questions About Moore

President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

President Donald Trump has been selective about his outrage over recent accusations of sexual misconduct involving high-profile politicians.

While the President hasn’t personally offered any response to mounting allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct toward teenage girls when Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore was in his 30s, Trump on Thursday was quick to condemn Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) for new groping allegations.

Trump called the 2006 photo of Franken reaching out toward an LA radio host’s chest while she was sleeping “really bad.” Trump seemed to suggest that Franken may have done more than what the photo reveals. He also called Franken a hypocrite for championing women’s rights when he had alleged inappropriate sexual behavior in his past.

Los Angeles radio host Leeann Tweeden wrote an op-ed Thursday with her story about Franken’s alleged sexual misconduct — claiming he “aggressively” kissed her during a 2006 USO tour rehearsal and groped her while she was sleeping. Franken initially apologized, but disputed part of her version of the story. He put out a longer, more apologetic statement later Thursday and asked Congress to conduct an ethics probe into the allegations.

While the White House has said Trump thinks the allegations against Moore are “very troubling,” the President’s personal silence on Moore since the news broke last Thursday is deafening.

At least eight women have come forward in the past week alleging that Moore pursued relationships or made unwanted sexual advances toward them when they were teenagers and Moore was in his 30s. One woman said Moore attempted to initiate a sexual encounter with her when she was 14. On Monday, another woman accused Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was 16.

Moore has denied all accusations and has responded by trying to discredit the accusers and threatening to sue The Washington Post — which broke the first story — and the Alabama Media Group, which publishes several local Alabama newspapers.

As more men and women across the country come forward with stories of sexual misconduct by men in powerful positions, Trump has been noticeably quiet on the issue.

During the campaign Trump himself faced accusations of sexual misconduct by multiple women. In the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape that surfaced during the campaign, Trump bragged about his aggressive behavior toward women.

Trump has repeatedly denied all the allegations, claiming recently they’re all “fake” and “made up.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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