Nov 23, 2017

Trump's politics-first approach to sexual misconduct allegations

Photo: Evan Vucci / AP

This week, Donald Trump defended Alabama Senator candidate Roy Moore in the face of several sexual harassment and assault charges, drawing attention to the fact that Moore has denied the accusations (and contending that electing a Democrat would be much worse).

Why it matters: While the President has not commented on every high-profile allegation, there is a clear pattern in his comments — Democrats get his quick condemnation, while Republicans and allies get his support. And let's not forget, Trump has himself been accused by at least 11 women of sexual assault or harassment.

Democrats

On Harvey Weinstein (a major Democratic donor):

"I've known Harvey Weinstein for a long time. I'm not at all surprised to see it."

On Sen. Al Franken:

"The Al Frankenstien picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words. Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps? And to think that just last week he was lecturing anyone who would listen about sexual harassment and respect for women. Lesley Stahl tape?"

On Bill Clinton:

"There's never been anyone more abusive to women in politics than Bill Clinton. My words were unfortunate — the Clintons' actions were far worse." Trump also invited four of Clinton's accusers to the second presidential debate last year.

Republicans

On Roy Moore:

"He denies it. Look, he denies it. If you look at all the things that have happened over the last 48 hours. He totally denies it. He says it didn't happen.... We don't need a liberal person in there, a Democrat, Jones."

On Bill O'Reilly:

Trump called O'Reilly "a good person" and said, "I don't think Bill did anything wrong," shortly after the New York Times reported that he had settled with five different women over sexual harassment claims.

Roger Ailes:

After the Fox News chairman was ousted due to charges of sexual harassment, Trump brought him in as an unofficial campaign adviser.

Go deeper

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and South Korea ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 on Friday to 433 on Saturday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

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Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."

Situational awareness

Warren Buffett. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Warren Buffett releases annual letter, reassures investors about future of Berkshire Hathaway
  2. Greyhound bars immigration sweeps
  3. U.S. military officially stops offensive operations in Afghanistan
  4. America's future looks a lot like Nevada
  5. Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins