The Slatest

Trump Appears to Defend Accused Domestic Abusers: “Is There No Such Thing Any Longer as Due Process?”

President Donald Trump speaks  in the Oval Office of the White House, February 9, 2018 in Washington, D.C.
President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office of the White House, February 9, 2018 in Washington, D.C. Pool/Getty Images

In a week when two members of his administration resigned or were fired following claims of domestic violence and abuse, Trump seemed to defend them on Twitter by saying their lives are “being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation.” At a time when the country—and the world—is coming to grips with the pervasive abuse and harassment that women face on a daily basis, the president appears determined to continue down the path of believing the men who are accused of domestic violence rather than the women.

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“Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday. “Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused—life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?”

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The commander in chief didn’t mention anyone by name but his Twitter statement came a day after he surprised journalists in the Oval Office on Friday when he portrayed Rob Porter, who resigned as staff secretary Wednesday after two of his ex-wives accused him of physical and emotional abuse, as the victim. “It was very sad when we heard about it and certainly he’s also very sad now,” Trump told reporters. “He also, as you probably know, says he’s innocent and I think you have to remember that. He said very strongly yesterday that he’s innocent so you have to talk to him about that.”

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Later that day, speechwriter David Sorensen, who worked at the Council on Environmental Quality, also resigned after his ex-wife told reporters that he was violent and abusive during their two-and-a-half-year marriage. Sorensen vehemently denies the claim and released a lengthy statement detailing that his ex-wife, Jessica Corbett, was actually the violent one in the relationship.

The statements supporting his ex-staffers never even mention the accusers. But that is just continuing with the president’s pattern of denying claims by the women who say he sexually harassed or assaulted them. “Of course he never believes the women—he can’t,” Rep.
Kathleen Rice from New York said. “Donald Trump’s presidency is built on people not believing women. If people start believing women, maybe they’d think about believing any of the dozen-plus women who have accused Donald Trump of sexual assault and harassment.”

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When he was campaigning and fundraising for Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, for example, Trump frequently complained to allies and donors that it was strange women were coming forward decades after the abuse took place. “He says it didn’t happen. And, you know, you have to listen to him also,” Trump told reporters at one point. “You’re talking about, he said 40 years ago this did not happen.”

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Trump’s White House has also taken this position when it comes to the women who have accused Trump. Trump “thinks it’s a good thing that women are coming forward, but he also feels strongly that a mere allegation shouldn’t determine the course,” White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in December after three of Trump’s accusers called on Congress to investigate the president’s past behavior. “In this case, the president has denied any of these allegations.”

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