Among the many reasons to be concerned about Donald Trump’s presidency is the fact that he’s moved to essentially normalize sexual misconduct since even though he stands credibly accused of harassing or assaulting numerous women, he’s the president anyway.
Concurrent to this — or perhaps you could say in response to it — there has been a broad movement in the United States to hold sexual abusers responsible for their actions and get them out of the positions of power that they’ve been able to hang onto for so long.
In this context, comic turned political leader Al Franken was pressured into resigning from the U.S. Senate last year after stories of past alleged sexual misconduct came out. At least one of these stories was supported by an actual photograph of Franken groping a sleeping woman, Leann Tweeden.
Some on the left — including The View‘s Joy Behar — were not impressed by Franken going down so quickly while other people in positions of political power who remain accused of similar conduct have not gone down at all. The allegations against the president are credible and supported by some of his own remarks caught on tape at one point, and yet he maintains his position nonetheless.
Behar pressed New York Democratic U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand over the discrepancy between what’s happened to Franken and what’s happened to Trump during the Monday edition of The View.
As Behar put it, speaking to Gillibrand:
‘I know that you led the charge to get Al Franken to resign from the Senate. I just thought that was unfair, to make him the example when the president of the United States — so many allegations of harassment against him and I don’t see him going anywhere.’
The New York Senator responded by asserting that the fact that Trump is still in office doesn’t mean that she doesn’t find him to be unworthy of his position.
‘Let’s talk about Trump first. He has over a dozen allegations of sexual assault and sexual harassment. He should resign because of that. He should be held accountable. I have not heard that from any Republicans. He should be held accountable and because he’s unwilling to resign Congress should be doing hearings. Where are the hearings on all of these allegations of sexual assault and sexual harassment?’
Continuing on, Gillibrand insisted that the issue of the sexual misconduct allegations against the president should not be a “partisan issue.”
The idea for Congress to hold hearings about the allegations against the president was floated at one point recently by some of the women who have accused Trump of misconduct themselves.
Going on, Gillibrand insisted that even if what Franken is accused of doing isn’t the same as what the president is accused of doing, that doesn’t mean we should look the other way.
After facing criticism from Behar, Gillibrand also faced criticism from show co-host Meghan McCain, who asked her about the recent revelations about the questionable steps Hillary Clinton took to deal with an issue of sexual harassment in her team.
Gillibrand distanced herself from the issue even though she’s long been allied with the Clintons, commenting:
‘These things have to be dealt with. Whether you’re a Democrat, whether you’re a Republican, you need transparency and accountability, and no one is above criticism… What it does bring us to talk about is this issue of workplace harassment; the fact that too many women in the workplace, across all sectors, across all industries, are being harassed today.’
McCain also pressed Gillibrand over how long it took her to come around to the idea that Bill Clinton should have resigned over the Lewinsky scandal, with the New York Senator again trying to distance herself from the issue, claiming that the need to address allegations of sexual misconduct “not about any one president.”
Check out video of Gillibrand’s appearance on The View below.
Featured Image via Screenshot from the Video