Trump Upends His Own Campaign’s Messaging

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Ahead of the 2020 general election, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has faced a newly surfaced accusation of committing sexual assault against a woman named Tara Reade, who worked for his Senate office in the 1990s. Allies of President Donald Trump, who has himself faced many allegations of perpetrating sexual harassment and assault, have rushed to try and turn Reade’s story into a rallying cry against Biden, but Trump himself “undercut” that effort during a recent interview in which he focused on complaining about the baselessly supposed problem of false allegations against prominent men, The Washington Post explains.

The idea that prominent men, like Trump, his U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and others have faced rampant false accusations of misconduct is false — but that’s what Trump pushed during an interview broadcast this past week on The Dan Bongino Show, thereby upending the rush by his allies to turn Reade’s case into a political football.

Trump said:

‘All of a sudden you become a wealthy guy, you’re a famous guy, then you become president. And people that you’ve never seen, that you’ve never heard of, make charges… I would just say to Joe Biden, ‘Just go out and fight it.’.. As far as records and all, I have no idea, he’d have to make up that decision. I can say that I’ve been accused. You probably have, too. As soon as you’re famous, you get accused.’

Trump appears to have a vested interest in trying to tamp down the stories of women who have been harassed and assaulted by powerful men. Trump himself has faced a slew of allegations of misconduct ranging from harassment to rape, the stories of which span a period of decades. Trump has repeatedly denied the allegations, but frequently, his denials have actually bolstered the allegations via means like his mockery of the accusers’ appearances. He has also been caught on tape, on the set of the show Access Hollywood, bragging about committing sexual assault.

Amidst the renewed focus on Trump’s own past in the wake of the emergence of Tara Reade’s story, new White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany suggested at a press conference this week that the president had been essentially vindicated because of his election. However — the fact that some Americans chose to vote for Trump despite the allegations doesn’t disqualify them. That’s not how reality works…

She commented:

‘The American people had their say in the matter when they elected President Trump as president. But, you know, leave it to the media to really take an issue about the former vice president and turn it on the president and bring up accusations from four years ago that were asked and answered in the form of the vote of the American people.’

The issue is one of many that seem poised to weigh on the 2020 general election, including obvious weights like the Coronavirus pandemic. For now, Biden tends to lead Trump in polls measuring their expected general election match-up. In recent weeks, Biden has gotten public endorsements from a wide array of prominent Democrats.