Nikki Haley Says Ladies Who Accuse Trump of Misconduct ‘Should Be Heard’
WASHINGTON — Nikki R. Haley, the American ambassador to the United Nations, said on Sunday that ladies who have accused President Trump of sexual misconduct “should be heard,” a surprising break from the administration’s longstanding assertion that the allegations are false and that voters rightly dismissed them when they elected Mr. Trump.
Ms. Haley, a former governor and one particular of the highest-ranking females in Mr. Trump’s administration, refocused interest on the allegations against the president by insisting that his accusers should be treated no differently than the scores of ladies who have come forward in recent weeks with stories of sexual harassment and misconduct against other males.
“They need to be heard, and they must be dealt with,” Ms. Haley said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “And I feel we heard from them prior to the election. And I believe any lady who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way, they have every single correct to speak up.”
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Her remarks are the latest indication that the president’s behavior toward girls — far more than a dozen have accused him of unwanted touching, forcible kissing or groping — might not escape renewed scrutiny at a time when an array of strong men have had their careers derailed due to the fact of their improper treatment of ladies, some of which took place decades ago.
The #MeToo movement has engulfed prominent members of each political parties. Democrats have appeared determined to grab the moral and political higher ground, largely forcing their accused celebration members to resign.
Republicans have been far more divided: Even as some accused members have stepped down, the party has largely stood by Mr. Trump. And it remains bitterly split more than how to respond to the case of Roy S. Moore, the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama who has been accused of molesting an underage girl and attempting to date other teenagers when he was in his 30s.
Some of the females who very first accused Mr. Trump in the course of the campaign last year have expressed a renewed wish to press their case. 3 of them will be interviewed by Megyn Kelly on NBC’s “Today” show on Monday.
So far, though, the upheaval in societal norms about sexual conduct in the workplace has swirled around the president but left him largely unscathed.
Undaunted, the president has employed Twitter to mock other guys who have been accused, including Senator Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, who announced his plans to resign after several harassment allegations. Mr. Trump has defended and endorsed Mr. Moore, calling the claims against him “troubling” but insisting that he is necessary in the Senate to advance the Republican agenda.
Via it all, the White Residence has repeatedly sought to deflect and discredit any attempt to revisit the “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Mr. Trump crudely bragged about kissing ladies and grabbing their private parts, or to examine again the allegations from the girls who came forward weeks before the 2016 election to accuse Mr. Trump of crude sexual behavior.
In current months, Mr. Trump has privately been casting doubt that the “Access Hollywood” tape is genuine, in spite of publicly acknowledging shortly right after its release in October 2016 that “I stated it, I was wrong, and I apologize.”
And he has steadfastly denied all of the women’s accusations, calling them “made-up stuff” and “totally fake news.” Asked about the sexual misconduct accusations against the president and whether or not the women had been lying, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White Property press secretary, mentioned that they were and that “the president addressed the comments back throughout the campaign.”
Still, Mr. Trump may not have the luxury of waving aside the allegations against him forever as the maelstrom of sexual misconduct complaints that has toppled the careers of politicians, media figures and business executives grows.
In the new and significantly less forgiving atmosphere, Juliet Huddy, a former Fox News anchor, came forward last week to accuse Mr. Trump of obtaining kissed her on the lips when they have been riding in an elevator in 2011. Ms. Huddy said she did not feel offended or threatened, but said she had matured and now would have rejected his affections.
“He went to say goodbye and he, rather than kiss me on the cheek, he leaned in on the lips,” Ms. Huddy stated final week on the “Mornin’!!! With Bill Schulz” podcast. Ms. Huddy, who formerly worked as a host on “Fox & Close friends,” has also accused Bill O’Reilly, the former Fox News host, of sexually harassing her.
A single lady who had previously made allegations against the president, Summer Zervos, a former contestant on Mr. Trump’s show “The Apprentice,” has filed a lawsuit against him, claiming that Mr. Trump and his associates defamed her by dismissing her account, and those of other girls, as “lies” and “nonsense.” The lawsuit, if it is permitted to move forward, could give a legal forum for other girls to repeat their allegations.
Among those who could be offered a new platform to lodge accusations against the president is Temple Taggart, who claimed that when she was competing in the Miss USA pageant in 1997, Mr. Trump kissed her on the mouth. She expressed dismay recently that her accusations against the president did not have much more political impact last year.
“With Trump, it was all brushed beneath the rug,” Ms. Taggart mentioned.
Jessica Leeds, who last year accused Mr. Trump of grabbing her breasts and attempting to put his hand up her skirt, said lately that she would be content to inform her story below oath as element of Ms. Zervos’s lawsuit.
The president’s lawyers are looking for to have the lawsuit dismissed. But in the meantime, Ms. Haley’s remarks recommend that the political environment in Washington might be evolving.
In her first year, Ms. Haley has proved herself to be a valued and loyal member of the president’s cabinet, serving as a confidante on foreign policy troubles, especially during the debate more than no matter whether to declare that Iran was no longer in compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal.
Viewed as a rising star in the Republican Party and a possible presidential candidate when she was governor of South Carolina, Ms. Haley was discussed as a attainable replacement for Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson when it was believed that Mr. Trump may well fire him. And her higher-profile service as the nation’s prime diplomat at the United Nations could aid propel her if she decides to pursue a return to elective workplace.
But her comments on Sunday suggest she is also prepared to depart from the authorized White Home script. Initially, Ms. Haley talked normally about girls who come forward to accuse males of misconduct, saying that “women who accuse any individual should be heard.”
But she went on to specifically refer to the ladies who came forward in October last year to make allegations against Mr. Trump. Asked no matter whether the election meant the allegations against the president ought to be a settled issue, Ms. Haley mentioned that was for “the people” to decide.
“I know that he was elected,” she mentioned. “But, you know, ladies need to usually really feel comfy coming forward. And we must all be willing to listen to them.”
Published at Mon, 11 Dec 2017 03:32:50 +0000