Social media users have slammed US President Donald Trump for ignoring his own history on sexual misconduct and staying largely silent about mounting sexual abuse allegations against Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore while weighing in on the sexual harassment claim against Democratic Senator Al Franken.
Senator Franken of Minnesota apologized Thursday after being accused of sexually harassing journalist Leeann Tweeden in 2006. During his time as a comedian, which included two stints on Saturday Night Live from 1975-1980 and 1985-1995, Franken often made vulgar jokes about women.
Calling the senator “Al Frankenstien,” Trump referred to a 1995 incident when Franken proposed a sketch in which he would appear to drug and rape journalist Lesley Stahl.
The tweets rekindled chatter about President Trump’s own history, most notably the Access Hollywood that surfaced during last year’s presidential campaign, in which Trump brags about sexually assaulting women. More than a dozen women have also accused Trump of sexual misconduct.
Meanwhile, Trump kept silent for about a week as a growing chorus of Republicans called for Moore, a US Senate candidate from Alabama, to step aside. The Republican nominee has been accused of dating and sexually assaulting teenage girls.
Twitter users were quick to slam the president’s hypocrisy on the issue, with some suggesting he should be impeached.
However, the White House defended the president. “Sen. Franken has admitted wrongdoing and the president hasn’t,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at Friday’s briefing.
On Thursday, Sanders said that President Trump found the allegations against Moore “troubling.”
“The president said in his statement earlier this week that if the allegations are true, then Roy Moore should step aside. He still firmly believes that,” she said.
White House adviser Kellyanne Conway also appeared on Fox News trying to explain the inconsistency of weighing in on Franken while keeping silent about Moore.
“Al Franken was a brand new news story yesterday, and the president weighed in as he does on the news of the day often enough,” she said on Friday. “The Roy Moore story is eight days old and the president put out a statement during his Asia trip on that.”