Donald Trump had a moment last night during NBC’s Commander-in-Chief forum when he could have righted a grievous wrong. He could have, and absolutely should have, walked back a horrifyingly offensive tweet of his from 2013 that insulted the military and all of its servicemembers and blamed the sexual assaults of female soldiers on the victims.
26,000 unreported sexual assults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2013
Much has been said about the insanely egregious tweet and all its implications: men in the military are unable to control themselves around women, women shouldn’t be in the military or they should simply expect to be raped if they decide to join, and that sexual assaults that go unreported in the military are simply the natural consequence of putting men and women together and not because of any failure on the part of the military to properly handle and address the issues of sexual assault of female servicemembers.
The fact is, however, that Trump tweeted the statement to his millions of followers and now, as he campaigns to become commander-in-chief in charge of our military, he needs to run fast and far away from it. When Matt Lauer questioned him on that tweet, however, Trump did not walk it back.
Instead, he reinforced his belief that his statement was “correct.”
‘It is a correct tweet. There are many people that think that’s absolutely correct.’
That’s Trump in a nutshell: he never specifies who the “many people” who agree with him are, but as long as his misogynistic fan base agrees with him, those “many people” prove, in Trump’s mind, that everything he says should be considered a fact.
Twitter was not pleased, nor should they have been. Excusing rape by insisting it is the natural consequence of women simply being in the presence of men is wrong. It’s victim-blaming, and it’s an insult to servicemembers everywhere. Twitter let Trump know that last night.
— Dr. Jill Stein (@DrJillStein) September 8, 2016
Twitter also took Matt Lauer to the woodshed for not following up on that answer. Apparently, Hillary Clinton’s non-scandal regarding private email servers is a more important issue than, say, the potential commander-in-chief having no understanding of sexual assault or why it happens.
Glad we spent 10 minutes on emails and 14 seconds on how female members of the military cause their own rape epidemic. #NBCNewsForum
— Elizabeth Plank (@feministabulous) September 8, 2016
Trump wants to replace generals, institute a (new) military justice system, & seems indifferent to sexual assault in the military. Aaaaaaarg
— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) September 8, 2016
— Nomiki Konst (@NomikiKonst) September 8, 2016
The man who stands a tentative chance to be the next leader of the free world believes that sexual assault is just a matter of course when women decide to be around men, and that women who don’t want to be raped or sexually harassed in the workplace should just stay home or find a new career.
That is utterly terrifying.
For the Trump’s full interview during the Commander-in-Chief forum, see video below:
Featured image screengrab via YouTube