Following a speech at the United Nations in which the entire world laughed at him, President Trump suggested during a press scrum that women who are drunk cannot be sexually assaulted.
Trump made the comment during a photo op with the president of Colombia. A reporter asked him if he thinks Deborah Ramirez, the second woman who came forward in a New Yorker article and accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, should be allowed to testify at a hearing on Thursday. Trump responded by dismissing Ramirez’s allegation, in part because she admits she was drinking the night Kavanaugh allegedly assaulted her at a party while both of them were students at Yale.
“The second accuser has nothing. The second accuser doesn’t ever know — she thinks maybe it would’ve been him, maybe not, she admits that she was drunk,” Trump said. “She admits time lapses — there were time lapses. This is a person, and this is a series of statements that is gonna take one of the most talented, one of the greatest intellects from a judicial statements in our country — gonna keep him off the United States Supreme Court?”
It is, of course, not the case that women who are drunk cannot be victims of sexual assault. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, approximately 25 percent of American women have experienced sexual assault, and approximately one-half of those cases involve alcohol consumption.
“Alcohol contributes to sexual assault through multiple pathways, often exacerbating existing risk factors,” an NIH summary of the research say. “Beliefs about alcohol’s effects on sexual and aggressive behavior, stereotypes about drinking women, and alcohol’s effects on cognitive and motor skills contribute to alcohol-involved sexual assault.” Connecticut state law stipulates that a person under the influence of alcohol cannot give consent to sexual activity.
While Ramirez acknowledges her memories of the night she claims she was assaulted are hazy, word of the incident spread around Yale. More than three decades after it happened, the New Yorker talked to a number of classmates who heard about it at the time and recalled it in a manner similar to Ramirez.
Trump, however, is solely interested in discrediting Kavanaugh’s accusers, not finding out truth. He admitted as much last week when he said of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a woman who accused Kavanaugh of assaulting her while they were in high school, “Let her testify, or not, and TAKE THE VOTE!”
Senator Feinstein and the Democrats held the letter for months, only to release it with a bang after the hearings were OVER – done very purposefully to Obstruct & Resist & Delay. Let her testify, or not, and TAKE THE VOTE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2018
Trump has also refused to ask the FBI to investigate the allegations against Kavanaugh while failing to provide a good reason for not doing so.
During another part of his remarks on Tuesday, Trump echoed the same baseless conspiracy theory that Kavanaugh himself peddled in his letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee the day before — that Ford and Ramirez’s allegations are the fruit of a Democratic plot.
That Trump continues to deny any wrongdoing on the part of Kavanaugh even as more allegations pile up is not surprising, given that the president stands accused of sexual assault by 15 women, and was recorded on a hot mic bragging about grabbing women by their genitals. The White House’s official position is that all of Trump’s accusers are lying.
In his new book “Fear: Trump in the White House,” journalist Bob Woodward recounts a conversation between Trump and an unnamed “friend who had acknowledged some bad behavior toward women” in which Trump advised him, “You’ve got to deny, deny, deny and push back on these women. If you admit to anything and any culpability, then you’re dead.”