Trump Rallies With “Great Lady” Who Doesn't Believe Wives Can Be Raped By Husbands

Conservative writer Phyllis Schlafly endorsed Donald Trump for president at a rally in St. Louis today. Schlafly is an anti-feminist pundit who doesn't believe that marital rape exists.

During a March 11 rally, Schlafly introduced the candidate by saying Trump is “a real conservative, and I ask you to support him.” Trump said that Schlafly “is a great lady” who is “very, very exceptional.”

Schlafly was one of the leading opponents of the Equal Rights Amendment. She has a long history of extreme rhetoric against women and immigrants. She recently said that Major League Baseball should ban foreign players because they are taking “positions that should have gone to American players.”

During a 2007 speech at a college, Schlafly reportedly said, “By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don't think you can call it rape.” She stood by her remarks the following year while speaking to a college newspaper (emphasis in original):  

Could you clarify some of the statements that you made in Maine last year about martial rape?

I think that when you get married you have consented to sex. That's what marriage is all about, I don't know if maybe these girls missed sex ed. That doesn't mean the husband can beat you up, we have plenty of laws against assault and battery. If there is any violence or mistreatment that can be dealt with by criminal prosecution, by divorce or in various ways. When it gets down to calling it rape though, it isn't rape, it's a he said-she said where it's just too easy to lie about it.

Was the way in which your statement was portrayed correct?

Yes. Feminists, if they get tired of a husband or if they want to fight over child custody, they can make an accusation of marital rape and they want that to be there, available to them.

Michael Cohen, a top adviser to Trump, similarly told The Daily Beast last July that “you cannot rape your spouse.” Cohen later apologized for his remark:

Donald Trump distanced himself Tuesday from comments one of his top advisers made in an explosive interview while defending the Republican presidential candidate from a decades-old rape accusation.

Michael Cohen, special counsel to Trump and an executive vice president at The Trump Organization, apologized Tuesday after telling the Daily Beast that legally “you cannot rape your spouse.”

The rape claim stems from an accusation Trump's then-wife Ivana Trump leveled at her husband during divorce proceedings in the early 1990s, an allegation she walked back Tuesday.

“He's speaking for himself. He's not speaking for me, obviously,” Trump said to CNN's Don Lemon Tuesday, which aired on “The Situation Room.”