During Friday’s White House Press Briefing, Sarah Huckabee Sanders fielded questions about President Trump’s Thursday night tweets calling for an investigation of Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) in response to accusations of sexual assault. Sanders rejected any suggestion that Trump should likewise be investigated for any of the accusations made against him.
“This was covered extensively during the campaign,” she said. “We addressed it then. The American people spoke very loud and clear when they elected this president.”
When asked to clarify how Trump and Franken were any different, Sanders responded, “I think in one case specifically, Senator Franken has admitted wrongdoing. The president hasn’t. It a very clear distinction.”
The implication seemed to be that men who are accused of such behavior should be believed, and if Franken had simply denied the allegation, no investigation would be necessary. This is besides the fact that Trump was previously caught on video bragging about the way he gets away with sexually assaulting women because of his fame and wealth. “I just start kissing them,” he said on the tape. “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 ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”
The idea that admitting to the allegations is a qualifying factor for investigation was further solidified in discussion that followed about Roy Moore, the Alabama Senate candidate who has also been accused by multiple women of sexual assault. Moore, like Trump, has denied the allegations against him, implying the women accusing him of abuse are lying.
Follow-up questions addressed the fact that Trump said during the campaign that he would sue the women who accused him of sexual misconduct. Sanders couldn’t say why Trump hadn’t yet sued them, but she suggested, “That’s an option that Roy Moore has on the table.” She did not suggest it was an option for Franken.
When asked if Trump still believes his accusers are liars, Sanders dodged the question, saying simply, “The president has spoken about this multiple times and has denied all of those allegations.”
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