This morning, America’s most problematic sweetheart, Megyn Kelly, tweeted the question that we have all been thinking: “America is having a ‘Me Too’ moment, as men are being outed and punished for sometimes decades of sexual misconduct. But does that accountability extend to the Oval Office?” It’s a good question, and one that deserves a better answer than the “turn-the-other-cheek” attitude that accompanied Trump’s long history of sexual misconduct.
Breaking the political silence last week, three Senators, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called on Trump to resign because of sexual assault and harassment accusations against him, as reported by the Chicago Tribune. The calls come amidst new allegations made by a former Fox News anchor Juliet Huddy, who saysthat Trump made unsolicited advances on her ten years ago. During an interview on CBS’s Face The Nation, The White House’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said, “They [the women accusing Trump] should be heard…I think we heard from them prior to the election. And I think any woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way, they have every right to speak up."
The allegations against Trump do indeed span far before the election. As reported by The Daily Beast, Trump has a long history of being terrible to women. The accounts against him are numerous (so far nearly two dozen women have spoken out), span over thirty years, and run the gamut from harassment, to misconduct, to assault.
Tapping into the building outrage regarding sexual misconduct in government, Kelly was joined on the TODAY show by three women who accused Trump of sexual misconduct during the 2016 election cycle: Jessica Leeds, who accused Trump of groping her during a flight; Rachel Cooks, who claims Trump forcibly and repeatedly tried to kiss her in Trump Tower; and Samantha Holvey, who alleges that Trump leered at her and other pageant contestants in an unwelcome visit to their dressing room in 2006.
During the show, the women expressed disappointment and hurt that the country ignored Trump's behavior towards women, electing him into office regardless of the sexual harassment and assault allegations against him. They said they hoped that this platform would allow them another chance to tell their stories in order to shift public perception into political action. The White House rejected their claims as false, sending a statement into the TODAY show that was read on air. Undeterred, the women responded, asking, “Where do we draw the line as women coming together in this country saying, ‘No. We don’t want to be treated like that anymore. We no longer accept this. It’s happened long enough. No.’ When does that happen?”
Hopefully, the answer is soon.
top photo: Today show screenshot
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Sarah C. Epstein is a writer and creator living in NYC. In her free time she enjoys eating berries, reflecting on her dreams, and hanging out with her pet snake, Sydney. Find her online at cricketepstein.com.