The 11 sexual assault allegations that have emerged against Donald Trump this month? According to Trump economic adviser Betsy McCaughey, they’re just part of a “man-shaming” campaign orchestrated by the Hillary Clinton campaign.
McCaughey, the former Lieutenant Governor of New York (R) under Gov. George Pataki, made that case during a Wednesday appearance on CNN Tonight. She did so in response to host Don Lemon asking her about Newt Gingrich’s smear of Megyn Kelly as being “fascinated with sex” — a charge Gingrich made after Kelly brought up the Trump assault allegations during a Fox News interview earlier this week.
“I do believe that the polls show that Americans are not buying this roll out of accusers, and this bigger theme of man-shaming, and they want to get to the real issues,” McCaughey said, going on to cite a new Fox News poll that shows Trump ahead among independent voters — a group, she pointed out, that includes women.
“Americans are watching this drumbeat about these sexual allegations and they’re saying, ‘I don’t buy this, I want to hear about the economy, I want to hear about terrorism,’” she added.
Recent polling indicates that while the vast majority of voters believe Trump probably did indeed make unwanted sexual advances like the ones he was recorded bragging about in a videotape released earlier this month, the scandal hasn’t dramatically eroded his support.
But Trump has struggled to win support from women throughout his campaign, and has become less popular since the release of the Access Hollywood tape. An ABC News poll released Sunday found Clinton ahead 55–35 percent among women, with Trump losing ground this month among both non-college-educated and college-educated white women. Even the more favorable Fox News poll McCaughey cited shows Trump 10 points behind among women overall and 27 points behind among unmarried women.
Polling aside, the notion Trump is the real victim of the sexual assault scandal he unleashed is hard to take seriously. Instead of attempting to present credible exonerating evidence, Trump has smeared his accusers, repeatedly suggesting some of them aren’t attractive enough for their stories to be plausible in the first place.
During the window of time between the Access Hollywood tape being released and the first sexual assault accusers coming forward, McCaughey went on CNN and argued the Clinton campaign’s attempt to make Trump’s brag about sexual assault an issue was hypocritical because Clinton is a Beyoncé fan.
“‘I came to slay, bitch. When he f-ed me good I take his ass to Red Lobster.’ That happens to be from Beyoncé, her favorite performer,” McCaughey said. “Whom she says she idolizes and would like to imitate. There’s a lot of hypocrisy, in Hillary Clinton expressing such horror at language on the bus.”