President Trump thrust himself into the debate over sexual misconduct, asserting that “a mere allegation” could destroy the lives of those accused, as his own White House was engulfed by charges of abusive behavior, reports the New York Times. Trump, in a Twitter post, appeared to be defending two of his aides who resigned this past week after facing claims of domestic violence. “Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation,” he wrote. “Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused—life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?”
The statement echoed Trump’s dismissive response to allegations of sexual misconduct or abuse made over decades against male friends, colleagues, and himself. At a time when charges of sexual harassment and abuse are bringing down famous and powerful men, Trump’s defiant stance put him at odds with much of the country, and served as a stark reminder of his own troubled history with women. For the #MeToo movement, Trump’s words again were sure to make him a lightning rod. His apparent defense of his two aides —Rob Porter, the staff secretary, and David Sorensen, a speechwriter—ran counter to the White House’s portrayal of its response to the accusations of emotional and physical abuse leveled against them. Administration officials maintained that they acted decisively in both cases.