PBS' Gwen Ifill Rebukes Trump's Suggestion That Women Serving In Combat Inevitably Leads To Rape

Ifill: “You Put A Man Next To A Woman And What? Rapes Occur?”

From the December 6 edition of CBS' Face the Nation:

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JOHN DICKERSON (HOST): Let's listen to what Donald Trump said about women in the military:


DICKERSON: Women in the military. You said in 2013, you said, “26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military -- only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men and women together?” Now, the Pentagon has opened up all combat to women. What do you think?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, it's very tricky subject. You know, you're in there, and you're fighting, and you're sitting next to a woman. Now, they want to be politically correct, they want to do it. But there are major problems. And as you know there are many people that think this shouldn't be done, at a high level, at a level of general. I think that it's a very tricky situation. But, on Fox today they had a woman who was a pilot, top level, very good, really indicating that this is really something that is not going to work out. Will it work out? I hope so. I can say this, the numbers of rapes in the military are through the roof. Through the roof.


DICKERSON: Gwen, Trump said “major problems.” There are major problems. The Marine commandant is not as supportive of this.

GWEN IFILL: No, Joe -- he happens to be the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff now, Joe Dunford, who is not in favor of this. But using that reasoning, I'm sitting here as the only woman at this table. I should feel very insecure, right?


But this is my point. You put a man next to a woman and what? Rapes occur? I mean, that's the reasoning here. The point that Ashton Carter made, the Secretary of Defense, is that this means that women can compete for these roles. They can compete to be Rangers. They can compete to be Navy SEALs. But there's no guarantee they will be that, just like you can't guarantee that a man would be able to do these things. So what they're doing is opening up -- I mean women have been already in combat roles, ground forces, since [former Secretary of Defense] Leon Panetta did this. This is expanding it. There's some disagreement, as you would expect, at the Pentagon


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