Senior Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway pushed back against the notion that President Donald Trump doesn’t support women, saying he “shows great compassion” for women, and that she “frankly wouldn’t work” in his administration if he did not.
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Conway was responding to questions by ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" Sunday about the president's public comments since the White House staff secretary had to suddenly resign last week amid allegations of domestic abuse.
Following Rob Porter’s resignation Wednesday, Trump on Friday wished the former staff member well and said his denials of the abuse claims by two ex-wives need to be taken into account.
"He says he's innocent, and I think you have to remember that," the president said, adding that he wants to “absolutely wish him well.” Trump also said he had been “surprised” and “very sad” to learn about the allegations against Porter.
Then, on Saturday, the president tweeted in general comments that didn't specify if he was referring to Porter or to the issue of domestic violence, lamented that lives are being "destroyed by a mere allegation."
Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. 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?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2018
Trump himself has been accused by at least 16 women of misconduct ranging from sexual assault to harassment to inappropriate behavior, claims that he and his White House have adamantly denied.
Stephanopoulos said to Conway on Sunday, “There does seem to be a pattern here. When a friend or an ally -- a man -- of the president's gets in trouble with these allegations of, of abuse or sexual harassment, the president's sympathies immediately go to the man, whether it's Bill O'Reilly or Roger Ailes or Roy Moore or Rob Porter. Why is that, and do you understand the problem that creates for the president?”
Conway responded, “This is a man who show great compassion and understanding for, for women on many different issues. I frankly wouldn't work there if that were not the case. I could be dozens of other places for lots of money.”
She added, “I think he’s doing a great job for America’s women. We have to look at the full picture ... We are a safer, more prosperous nation -- that includes all of us, including the nation’s women -- because of Donald Trump’s leadership.”
Conway also said that she sees Trump “express sympathy” for women, and that he has "many times come to the aid of women privately,” such as by helping some women he knows or who have come to his attention find employment.
“Why would someone like me and many other women be there," at the White House if the president didn't show support for women? Conway asked. "He is an excellent boss to work for, an excellent boss for women.”
Stephanopoulos asked Conway about the response of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., to Trump's assertion on Twitter that a “mere allegation” can shatter lives.
“It’s not surprising that [Trump] doesn’t believe survivors or understand the national conversation that is happening," Gillibrand said in a series of tweets Saturday. The president has shown “he doesn’t value women,” she said.
The lives of survivors of sexual assault and domestic abuse are being shattered every day. If he wants due process for the over dozen sexual assault allegations against him, let’s have Congressional hearings tomorrow. I would support that and my colleagues should too.— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) February 10, 2018
Conway on "This Week" suggested that Gillibrand and other Democrats have no room to criticize Trump considering the scandal over former President Bill Clinton's relationship with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.
“I don’t need a lecture from Kirsten Gillibrand or anybody else who protected and defended and harbored a sitting president who had sexual relations in the Oval Office and was impeached for lying. I don’t need a lecture from her or anybody else,” Conway said.