‘He Has Totally Denied the Accusations’: Trump Defends Matt Gaetz the Same Way He’s Defended Many Others
Add U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz to the list of men now-former President Donald Trump has defended when faced with allegations related to sexual misconduct or abuse.
“Congressman Matt Gaetz has never asked me for a pardon,” Trump said in a statement Wednesday after The New York Times reported that Gaetz asked the Trump White House for a blanket pardon.
“It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him,” Trump added, a statement incredibly similar to those he has made when he defended Roy Moore, Brett Kavanaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and his own White House staff secretary Rob Porter. (CNN detailed some of Trump’s defenses in 2018.)
Trump has also rushed to defend Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), accused of ignoring multiple college wrestlers complaining to him of the team doctor’s sexual abuse or misconduct when Jordan was their coach.
“I don’t believe them at all. I believe him,” Trump said of Jordan, calling him “one of the most outstanding people I’ve met since I’ve been in Washington. I believe him 100%. No question in my mind. I believe Jim Jordan 100%. He’s an outstanding man.”
And Trump defended the late Roger Ailes, who faced allegations of sexual harassment which ended his career as Fox News’ CEO and Chairman. “I can tell you that some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he’s helped them, and even recently,” Trump said in Ailes’ defense.
In defending Roy Moore, accused of child rape and sexual assault, Trump said: “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. And look, you have to look at him also.”
Trump defended Rob Porter by saying, “He says he’s innocent and I think you have to remember that,” and, “He said very strongly yesterday that he’s innocent, but you’ll have to talk to him about that.”
Of Bill O’Reilly, Trump said, “I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”
In 2018 Vox reported on “a passage from Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear:”
Trump gave some private advice to a friend who had acknowledged some bad behavior toward women. Real power is fear. It’s all about strength. Never show weakness. You’ve always got to be strong. Don’t be bullied. There is no choice.
“You’ve got to deny, deny, deny and push back on these women,” he said. “If you admit to anything and any culpability, then you’re dead. That was a big mistake you made. You didn’t come out guns blazing and just challenge them. You showed weakness. You’ve got to be strong. You’ve got to be aggressive. You’ve got to push back hard. You’ve got to deny anything that’s said about you. Never admit.”
Trump has been accused of sexual assault or sexual misconduct by dozens of women.
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