Photo: Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images

President Trump tweeted a vague defense this morning of those accused of sexual misconduct and abuse, stating that “lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation.”

Why it matters: This follows two White House staffers leaving this week over domestic abuse claims, and Trump has a long history of defending those close to him accused of sexual harassment or abuse — often reiterating that they are “fine” people — and it far outpaces his statements in support of accusers.

The context: Former White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter resigned this week following allegations of domestic abuse from his ex-wives. Porter’s departure was exacerbated by news of administration speechwriter David Sorensen’s resignation amid abuse allegations.

Rob Porter

After Porter resigned this week following his two ex-wives' abuse claims, Trump said during an Oval Office pool spray: "I think you also have to remember...he said very strongly yesterday he's innocent." Trump did not say anything about Porter's accusers.

Roy Moore

Trump said in November, after Moore was accused by several women of harassment and assault: "Let me just tell you, Roy Moore denies it. That's all I can say. He denies it. By the way, he totally denies it."

Corey Lewandowski

Trump's former campaign manager was accused of battery, and prompting the then-candidate to tell Good Morning America: "He is a fine person...He is a very good person. And I don't want to destroy a man, you know, if you let him go, you would destroy a man, destroy a family."

Roger Ailes

Trump said of Ailes, who was ousted as the CEO of Fox News in 2016 after several sexual harassment allegations, that he's "a very good person," and "that some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he's helped them, and even recently."

Bill O'Reilly

After the Fox News host was accused of sexual harassment and verbal abuse by a number of women, and made settlements worth millions, Trump said: "He is a good person...I don't think Bill did anything wrong."

Bill Clinton

Per ABC, Trump said in 1998: “I don't necessarily agree with his victims, his victims are terrible...He is really a victim himself. But he put himself in that position...The whole group, Paula Jones, Lewinsky, it's just a really unattractive group. I'm not just talking about physical."

Mike Tyson

Tyson was convicted of raping an 18-year-old in 1992, and while Trump said he was "totally opposed to...what happened," he also said: "You have a young woman that was in his room, his hotel room late in the evening at her own will. You have a young woman who was seen dancing for the beauty contest [the next day], dancing with a big smile on her face, looked happy as could be."


When he was accused of sexual harassment, he tweeted: "100% fabricated and made-up charges, pushed strongly by the media and the Clinton Campaign, may poison the minds of the American Voter. FIX!"

Worth noting: He has been accused of sexual misconduct by at least 22 women, per Business Insider, and was famously caught on an Access Hollywood hot mic detailing his strategy for sexually assaulting women.

One counter to this trend:

Go deeper

Updated 19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court blocks Alabama curbside voting measure

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday evening blocked a lower court order that would have allowed voters to cast ballots curbside at Alabama polling places on Election Day.

Whit it matters: With less than two weeks until Election Day, the justices voted 5-3 to reinstate the curbside voting ban and overturn a lower court judge's ruling designed to protect people with disabilities.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election.
  2. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  3. Health: New York reports most COVID cases since MayStudies show drop in coronavirus death rate — The next wave is gaining steam.
  4. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — San Francisco public schools likely won't reopen before the end of the year.
  5. World: Spain becomes first nation in Western Europe to exceed 1 million cases.

U.S. officials: Iran and Russia aim to interfere in election

Iran and Russia have obtained voter registration information that can be used to undermine confidence in the U.S. election system, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe announced at a press conference Wednesday evening.

Why it matters: The revelation comes roughly two weeks before Election Day. Ratcliffe said Iran has sent threatening emails to Democratic voters this week in states across the U.S. and spread videos claiming that people can vote more than once.