Following the resignation of White House staff secretary Rob Porter over multiple accusations of domestic abuse, President Trump tweeted Saturday that he’s concerned people’s lives are being “shattered and destroyed” by “a mere allegation” without “due process.” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) responded by offering Trump his own “due process” in the form of hearings about the many sexual allegations against him, prompting a retort from White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway that those women “have had their day.”
Trump came to Porter’s defense Friday, wishing him “a wonderful career,” bemoaning that Porter is now “very sad,” and insisting that Porter has maintained his innocence. On Saturday, Trump tweeted his concern that “there is no recovery for someone falsely accused,” an apparent reference to Porter’s departure.
Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. 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?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2018
On Sunday morning, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney clarified on Fox News Sunday that it’s not clear Trump’s tweet referred to Porter, and could have been a reference to Steve Wynn, the former Finance Chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC). Two weeks ago, Wynn resigned over accusations he assaulted and harassed dozens of women. The RNC has said it’s planning to keep the $200,000 Wynn donated to Republicans last year, insisting that he should be “allowed due process.” Despite the similar stories, Wynn has not really been in the news the last two weeks and wasn’t even mentioned on Fox & Friends Saturday morning — but Porter was.
Regardless of whom Trump was referring to, Gillibrand decided to offer him exactly what he was asking for: due process in the form of congressional hearings on the many sexual assault allegations against him.
The lives of survivors of sexual assault and domestic abuse are being shattered every day. If he wants due process for the over dozen sexual assault allegations against him, let’s have Congressional hearings tomorrow. I would support that and my colleagues should too.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) February 10, 2018
Gillibrand has long been a champion in the fight against sexual harassment, even publicly reporting her own experiences being harassed by fellow lawmakers in 2014. She also led the charge in calling for fellow Democratic Sen. Al Franken (MN) to resign last fall. Trump, himself, has come after her, insinuating that she would be willing to perform sexual favors for campaign donations. She responded that he could not silence her.
On two different Sunday morning political shows, Conway came to the White House’s defense over its handling of the Rob Porter allegations. Though she said on CNN’s State of the Union that she thought Porter did the right thing by resigning, she attacked Gillibrand on ABC’s This Week. “Those accusers have had their day on your network and elsewhere,” Conway said to George Stephanopoulos in response to Gillibrand’s tweets. “They were trotted out again late last year.”
“I don’t need a lecture from Kirsten Gillibrand or anybody else who protected and defended and harbored a sitting president who had sexual relations in the Oval Office and was impeached for lying. I don’t need a lecture from her or anybody else.”
Responding to @SenGillibrand’s tweet that Congress should hold hearings with women who have accused Pres. Trump of sexual assault, @KellyannePolls tells @GStephanopoulos “Those accusers have had their day…I don’t need a lecture from Kirsten Gillibrand or anybody else.” #ThisWeek pic.twitter.com/iefif4Nh4q
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) February 11, 2018
Conway is referring to President Clinton, who was impeached in 1999 and served in office until 2001. Gillibrand didn’t take office until 2007, so it’s unclear how exactly she could have been protecting Clinton at the time. It’s true that Gillibrand is close to the Clintons and that they have campaigned for her. She said last November that in hindsight, however, she believes Clinton should have resigned over his affair with Monica Lewinsky.
If anything, Conway’s retort shines light on the fact that the accusations against Clinton were actually investigated. Apparently she thinks that “due process” for Trump is simply the fact that his accusers have had airtime on television.