Media Take Note: Trump Is The Worst Possible Messenger On The Clintons’ Marriage
When media report on Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s latest attacks on former President Bill Clinton’s history with women and Hillary Clinton’s responses to those women, they should also mention the immense hypocrisy of Trump levying those claims. Trump and several of his closest advisers have long histories of infidelity, workplace sexual harassment, and misogyny. And Trump himself previously said both that Clinton’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky was “totally unimportant” and that people would have been more “forgiving” if Clinton had a relationship “with a really beautiful woman.”
Trump Takes Aim At Bill Clinton’s Past Relationships As New Campaign Tactic Against Hillary
Huff. Post: Trump Attacked Hillary Clinton By Resurrecting Criticisms Of Bill Clinton’s History With Women. Following the first presidential debate, Republican nominee Donald Trump attacked Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by reviving former President Bill Clinton’s history with women “[i]n an attempt to blunt the aftermath of a poor debate performance earlier this week,” according to The Huffington Post. After threatening to invite Gennifer Flowers -- a woman with whom Bill Clinton has admitted he had an affair -- to the debate, “Trump said he held back in pursuing a similar line of criticism out of respect for Chelsea Clinton” and suggested he would bring up the indiscretions “at the next debate.” From the September 28 article:
In an attempt to blunt the aftermath of a poor debate performance earlier this week, allies and surrogates supporting Donald Trump are going on the offensive by attacking Hillary Clinton over Bill Clinton’s marital indiscretions and her response to the women involved.
The line of attack over Bill Clinton’s infidelities seemed to be previewed over the weekend, after Trump floated inviting [Gennifer] Flowers, who alleged that she carried on a 12-year affair with the former president, to sit in the audience for the debate in hopes of rattling his opponent. The Trump campaign ultimately decided against going through with it ― but the matter didn’t end there.
Following the debate, which most polls showed him losing, Trump said he held back in pursuing a similar line of criticism out of respect for Chelsea Clinton, who was seated in the audience.
“Maybe I’ll tell you at the next debate. We’ll see. But I’m very happy,” Trump said in an interview with CNN.
Trump’s top campaign aides soon followed suit, praising their boss for not bringing it up on the debate stage at Hofstra University. Eric Trump even said it took “courage” for his father not to go there.
Of course, by stating he did not want to bring it up, he in effect did so anyway. The rhetorical trick ― called apophasis ― is one the New York businessman uses quite often. [The Huffington Post, 9/28/16]
Before Running For President, Trump Called Clinton’s Affair “Totally Unimportant” And Attacked The Women Involved Instead
Trump: Linda Tripp Is “One Of The Most Unattractive Human Beings I’ve Ever Seen, Not Women, Human Beings.” In an interview with Fox News host Neil Cavuto, Trump called Linda Tripp, a former civil servant who recorded phone calls between Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton, “one of the most unattractive human beings [he’d] ever seen” and referred to her and Paula Jones, an Arkansas state employee who sued Bill Clinton for sexual harassment, as a “cast of characters … from Hell.” When Cavuto asked if the Lewinsky scandal could make Clinton “more alluring,” Trump said he wasn’t “sure the women [Clinton] did it with [could] make him alluring” because “it’s truly an unattractive cast of characters.” From the August 1998 edition of Fox News’ Cavuto Business Report:
DONALD TRUMP: Well, if he -- if he went about it in terms of getting out of the situation the way he did, I guess things like that do happen in corporations, OK, a lot. But it was the way he tried to get out of it that was so bad. I mean -- and this was a series of people that, you know, the whole thing, it's just so unattractive. Linda Tripp maybe one of the most unattractive human beings I've ever seen, not women, human beings. She's just an unattractive people. This Goldberg person, her agent or whatever she is, is just a terrible woman. You look at Paula Jones, I mean the whole cast of characters.
NEIL CAVUTO (HOST): So you have a problem with everybody, not just.
TRUMP: The whole cast of characters. It's like, it's like -- it's from Hell. It's a terrible group of people.
CAVUTO: But can it make him more alluring? I mean, even in your case, Donald, there is something to be said, you know -- Trump is pretty good with the ladies. People know him. And in a way that builds the mystique.
TRUMP: I don't know what it is. But I'm not sure the way he went about it makes him alluring. And I'm not sure the women he did it with make him alluring. I mean, give me a break. These people are just, I don't know, where he met them - where he found them. But the whole group -- it's truly an unattractive cast of characters. Linda Tripp, Lucianne Goldberg, I mean, this woman, I watch her on television. (OFF MIKE) She is so bad. The whole group, Paula Jones, Lewinsky, it's just a really unattractive group. I'm not just talking about physical. But.
CAVUTO: Would it be any different if it were a supermodel crowd?
TRUMP: I think at least it would be more pleasant to watch. [Fox News, Cavuto Business Report, 8/19/98, via Nexis]
Trump Called The Reaction To The Lewinsky Story “Out Of Control.” During an interview with MSNBC host Chris Matthews, Trump sympathized with Bill Clinton in the aftermath of the Lewinsky revelations, asking, “Why do they keep revealing the details? … [I]t’s so out of control. I’ve never seen anything like this.” From the August 1998 edition of Hardball with Chris Matthews:
CHRIS MATTHEWS (HOST): Let's talk about that other 52-year-old, Bill Clinton. What's he need to do?
DONALD TRUMP: Well, I don't know. It's so embarrassing, and you really have to say where does it stop? I--I really like this guy, but you really have to say, you know, where does it stop? Why do they keep revealing the details? He had sex, but now they talk about the kind of sex, the--where it took place, where it was, on the desk, off the desk. I mean, it's--it's so out of control. I've never seen anything like this. [CNBC, Hardball with Chris Matthews, 8/27/98, via Nexis]
Trump: “People Would Have Been More Forgiving If [Clinton] Had An Affair With A Really Beautiful Woman.” In an interview with The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd, Trump argued, “People would have been more forgiving if [Clinton] had an affair with a really beautiful woman of sophistication,” using the example of John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe, calling them “on a different level.” From the September 1999 article:
On Bill Clinton: “He handled the Monica situation disgracefully. It's sad because he would go down as a great President if he had not had this scandal. People would have been more forgiving if he'd had an affair with a really beautiful woman of sophistication. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe were on a different level. Now Clinton can't get into golf clubs in Westchester. A former President begging to get in a golf club. It's unthinkable.'' [The New York Times, 9/19/99]
Trump Suggested Clinton “Could Have Picked A Better Candidate” Than Lewinsky. During an interview with Matt Lauer on the Today show, Trump denied saying that “what bothered [him] the most was that Monica was unattractive,” clarifying that he “said [Clinton] could have picked a better candidate.” Trump claimed that “somebody said to me that if [Clinton] would have had an affair with a supermodel, he would have been everybody's hero”:
MATT LAUER (CO-HOST): Didn't you say one time about the whole scandal--what bothered you the most was that Monica was unattractive?
DONALD TRUMP: No, I didn't say that; I said that he certainly could have picked a better candidate. And I mean that, and you mean that. And everybody means that. They'll say, 'Oh, it's controversial. Trump'--in the meantime, everyone's saying, 'Why? I mean, why was that?' And somebody said to me that if he would have had an affair with a supermodel, he would have been everybody's hero. [NBC, Today, 10/8/99, via Nexis]
Trump Called Tripp “The Personification Of Evil.” Trump referred to Tripp as “the woman from hell” and claimed she looks “like the personification of evil.” From the October 1999 edition of Fox News’ Cavuto Business Report:
NEIL CAVUTO (HOST): You keep on mentioning Linda Tripp.
DONALD TRUMP: No, I don't like her.
CAVUTO: What is it about her?
TRUMP: I look at her, I don't know, there's something about her. She's the woman from hell, in my opinion, OK? There's something about her I just don't dig.
DONALD TRUMP: You're right. No. I have many people that I like a lot that aren't beautiful, that aren't perfection and I like them a lot. And I just don't like that group. I don't like Linda Tripp. I look at her, she's, she just looks to me like the personification of evil. There's something with her. And, you know, people are tired of that whole group of folks. [Fox News, Cavuto Business Report, 10/20/99, via Nexis]
Trump Denounced The “Hypocrisy” Of The “Moralists In Congress” Who Attacked Clinton. In his book The America We Deserve, Trump claimed he “got a chuckle out of all the moralists in Congress and in the media who expressed public outrage at the president’s immoral behavior.” He said “their hypocrisy is amazing” because he knew “one U.S. senator leading the pack of attackers spent more than a few nights with his twenty-something girlfriend at a” Trump hotel:
I got a chuckle out of all the moralists in Congress and in the media who expressed public outrage at the president’s immoral behavior. I happen to know that one U.S. senator leading the pack of attackers spent more than a few nights with his twenty-something girlfriend at a hotel I own. There’s also a conservative columnist, married, who was particularly rough on Clinton in this regard. He also brought his girlfriend to my resorts for the weekend. Their hypocrisy is amazing. [The America We Deserve, 1/15/00]
Trump: Clinton’s History With Women “Was Totally Unimportant.” In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Trump downplayed the Lewinsky affair and said “look at the trouble Bill Clinton got into with something that was totally unimportant.” He denounced the impeachment process, calling it “nonsense.” From the October 2008 edition of CNN’s The Situation Room:
DONALD TRUMP: And, I mean, look at the trouble Bill Clinton got into with something that was totally unimportant.And they tried to impeach him, which was nonsense. And, yet, Bush got us into this horrible war with lies, by lying, by saying they had weapons of mass destruction, by saying all sorts of things that turned out not to be true. [CNN, The Situation Room, 10/15/08]
After Announcing His Presidential Run In June 2015, Trump Downplayed Clinton's History With Lewinsky And Jones. On the June 17, 2015, edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, the day after formally declaring his intention to pursue the Republican nomination for the presidency, Trump picked Clinton as the "best" president of the previous four and downplayed controversial aspects of his private life:
MARK HALPERIN: So of the four, who's the best?
DONALD TRUMP: Well…
JOE SCARBOROUGH (CO-HOST): Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43, or Obama?
HALPERIN: And why?
TRUMP: I would really say Clinton, probably. I would have to say Clinton.
HALPERIN: And why?
TRUMP: There was a little spirit. And frankly, he would have been - had he not met Monica, had he not met Paula, had he not met various and sundry semi-beautiful women, he would have had a much better deal going. [MSNBC, Morning Joe, 6/17/15]
Trump Has A Lengthy History of Engaging In Sexual Harassment And Admitted To Extramarital Infidelity
Wash. Post: Trump’s Attack On Clinton’s Affair With Flowers “Underscores His Own History Of Infidelity.” The Washington Post reported that “Donald Trump’s threat” about Gennifer Flowers “focuses new attention to Trump's own history of infidelity,” as he “has been married three times” and had a “widely known” affair with Marla Maples. The Post noted that Republican strategist Mike Murphy called Trump’s attacks on Clinton “all impulse and no strategy.” From the September 25 article:
Donald Trump's threat to seat Gennifer Flowers, who had an extramarital affair with Bill Clinton, in the front row at Monday night's presidential debate focuses new attention to Trump's own history of infidelity and could further weaken his support among female voters.
Katie Packer, a Republican strategist who worked on Romney's 2012 presidential campaign and who ran an anti-Trump PAC during the GOP primaries, said research shows that even "women who aren't immediately inclined toward Hillary" are sympathetic toward her "when people punish her for her husband's infidelity."
"They feel it's very sexist to hold her responsible for his bad behavior," she said. About Trump, she said, "He is a serial philanderer, too, and has publicly bragged about it. He has no moral high ground."
Trump - who has been married three times - separated from his first wife, Ivana, after his affair with Marla Maples became widely known. Trump and Ivana finalized their divorce in 1992. Trump married Maples in December 1993, two months after she gave birth to a daughter. Trump divorced Maples in 1999 and married Melania Knauss in 2005.
After his second divorce and at other times when he was single, Trump was frequently seen out on the town with different women. He appeared on the cover of Playboy magazine, wrote in his books about all the women chasing him and publicly boasted about his sex life.
Mike Murphy, a Republican strategist who backed Jeb Bush in the primaries, said Trump would have been wiser to tweet that he was bringing a woman widowed by the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, to the debate. While Trump made the kind of "media noise" that he loves to create, Murphy said, this move was "typical Trump: all impulse and no strategy." [The Washington Post, 9/25/16]
LA Times: Lawsuit Against Trump National Golf Club Claimed Trump Wanted Only Pretty Female Employees. The Los Angeles Times reported on a lawsuit against the Trump National Golf Club, outlining the declarations by numerous employees alleging sexual harassment. Employees said Trump “made inappropriate and patronizing statements to the women working for him,” and acted “unprofessional,” asking female employees, “How’s my favorite girl?” “Are you still happily married” and “Do you like Jewish men?” The article noted that “when Trump saw less-attractive women working at his club, according to court records, he wanted them fired.” From the September 29 article:
Donald Trump wanted only the pretty ones, his employees said.
When Trump did visit, the club’s managers went on alert. They scheduled the young, thin, pretty women on staff to work the clubhouse restaurant — because when Trump saw less-attractive women working at his club, according to court records, he wanted them fired.
"I had witnessed Donald Trump tell managers many times while he was visiting the club that restaurant hostesses were 'not pretty enough' and that they should be fired and replaced with more attractive women,” Hayley Strozier, who was director of catering at the club until 2008, said in a sworn declaration.
Initially, Trump gave this command “almost every time” he visited, Strozier said. Managers eventually changed employee schedules “so that the most attractive women were scheduled to work when Mr. Trump was scheduled to be at the club," she said.
“Donald Trump always wanted good looking women working at the club,” said Sue Kwiatkowski, a restaurant manager at the club until 2009, in a declaration. "I know this because one time he took me aside and said, ‘I want you to get some good looking hostesses here. People like to see good looking people when they come in.’ ”
As a result, Kwiatkowski said, "I and the other managers always tried to have our most attractive hostesses working when Mr. Trump was in town and going to be on the premises."
In their sworn declarations, some employees described how Trump, during his stays in Southern California, made inappropriate and patronizing statements to the women working for him.
"Although I am a grown woman in my forties, Mr. Trump regularly greeted me with expressions like 'how's my favorite girl?'" Bolsajian said in a declaration. "Later, after he learned (by asking me) that I was married — and happily so — he regularly asked, 'are you still happily married?' whenever he saw me."
Trump also asked her to pose for photos with him, said Bolsajian, who added that she felt she “had little recourse given that Donald Trump is not only the head of the company but also one of the most powerful, well-known people in the United States.”
Bolsajian said, “In short, I consistently found Mr. Trump to be overly familiar and unprofessional.”
Hayley Strozier, the former catering director, said a vice president from the Trump Organization told her to fire an employee because “Mr. Trump doesn’t like fat people.
Messerschmidt, the employee who said she was fired in retaliation for complaining about age discrimination, said in 2008 that one of her managers, Brian Wolbers, changed her schedule to give her time off during one of Trump’s visits because Trump "likes to see fresh faces" and "young girls."
Wolbers did not respond to a request for comment.
Gail Doner, who worked as a food server from 2007 to 2011, wrote that she was 60 and had often been frustrated by the inefficiency of the restaurant’s young, inexperienced hostesses, who “usually were not competent but were kept anyway.”
“The hostesses that were the youngest and the prettiest always got the best shifts,” Doner wrote. [Los Angeles Times, 9/29/16]
NY Times: Interviews With Former Trump Employees “Reveal Unwelcome Advances, A Shrewd Reliance On Ambition, And Unsettling Workplace Conduct Over Decades.” The New York Times published a piece describing Trump’s interactions with women as “degrading, impersonal, [and] performed.” The Times conducted “more than 50 interviews … over the course of six weeks,” which revealed that Trump “simultaneously nurtured women’s careers and mocked their physical appearance.” From the Times May 14 report:
Donald Trump and women: The words evoke a familiar cascade of casual insults, hurled from the safe distance of a Twitter account, a radio show or a campaign podium. This is the public treatment of some women by Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president: degrading, impersonal, performed. “That must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees,” he told a female contestant on “The Celebrity Apprentice.” Rosie O’Donnell, he said, had a “fat, ugly face.” A lawyer who needed to pump milk for a newborn? “Disgusting,” he said.
But the 1990 episode at Mar-a-Lago that Ms. Brewer Lane described was different: a debasing face-to-face encounter between Mr. Trump and a young woman he hardly knew. This is the private treatment of some women by Mr. Trump, the up-close and more intimate encounters.
The New York Times interviewed dozens of women who had worked with or for Mr. Trump over the past four decades, in the worlds of real estate, modeling and pageants; women who had dated him or interacted with him socially; and women and men who had closely observed his conduct since his adolescence. In all, more than 50 interviews were conducted over the course of six weeks.
Their accounts — many relayed here in their own words — reveal unwelcome romantic advances, unending commentary on the female form, a shrewd reliance on ambitious women, and unsettling workplace conduct, according to the interviews, as well as court records and written recollections. The interactions occurred in his offices at Trump Tower, at his homes, at construction sites and backstage at beauty pageants. They appeared to be fleeting, unimportant moments to him, but they left lasting impressions on the women who experienced them.
What emerges from the interviews is a complex, at times contradictory portrait of a wealthy, well-known and provocative man and the women around him, one that defies simple categorization. Some women found him gracious and encouraging. He promoted several to the loftiest heights of his company, a daring move for a major real estate developer at the time.
He simultaneously nurtured women’s careers and mocked their physical appearance. “You like your candy,” he told an overweight female executive who oversaw the construction of his headquarters in Midtown Manhattan. He could be lewd one moment and gentlemanly the next. [The New York Times, 5/14/16]
Trump: Women Should “Find Another Career Or Find Another Company” If They Are Sexually Harassed In The Workplace. In a phone interview with Trump, USA Today columnist and Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers asked him about the allegations of sexual harassment against former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. When Powers asked, “What if someone had treated [Trump’s daughter] Ivanka in the way Ailes allegedly behaved?” Trump replied, “I would like think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case.” From the August 1 USA Today column:
Donald Trump thinks it’s “very sad” that women at Fox News are “complaining” about being sexually harassed by former Fox chief Roger Ailes.
As allegations against his old friend piled up, Trump told NBC’s Chuck Todd on July 24 that, “Some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he's helped them…And when they write books….and say wonderful things about him….[N]ow, all of a sudden, they're saying these horrible things about him.”
What if someone had treated Ivanka in the way Ailes allegedly behaved?
His reply was startling, even by Trumpian standards. “I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case,” he said. [USA Today, 8/1/16]
Jill Harth: “I Stand By Everything Written In The Complaint” About Trump’s “Sexual Misbehavior.” As explained by The Boston Globe, Trump allegedly sexually assaulted Jill Harth, the vice president of American Dream, on multiple occasions after Trump, Harth, and her former boyfriend entered into a business partnership related to a beauty pageant around 1993. After the short-lived business relationship collapsed, Trump and Harth were involved in a breach of contract dispute and a subsequent lawsuit that included Harth’s sexual harassment and assault claims. From the April 16 article:
It began as a planned partnership between Trump and a Florida couple, George Houraney and Jill Harth, who operated American Dream Calendar Girls, staging elaborate events in which winning contestants were featured, provocatively posed, in wall calendars. Houraney and Harth were eager to tap into the cachet and glitz of Trump and his casinos. It ended in a bitter, drawn-out legal battle when the planned partnership crumbled after the first pageant.
The couple alleged Trump broke his word, cheated them out of a $250,000 fee, and deprived them of up to $5 million in future business. More explosively, they said he continually made aggressive, unwanted sexual advances toward Harth, who was vice president of American Dream.
Harth alleged in court documents that Trump repeatedly came on to her and groped her under the table during the Oak Room dinner before the party piled into his limousine.
Trump’s alleged behavior that night — along with his statements and actions at meetings held in his Trump Tower offices in New York and at model-studded parties held at his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach — would become focal points of the tawdry saga.
Trump disputed Houraney’s case in court but eventually settled with American Dream in 1997, at the same time that Harth dropped a related lawsuit she had filed detailing alleged sexual misbehavior.
Trump called the couple’s allegations “all false’’ in an interview with the Globe and played down his role with the American Dream competition — even though he socialized with competing models, hosted it at one of his Atlantic City casinos in 1993, and allowed his name to be used for branding.
The case of American Dream Enterprise Inc. v. Donald Trump, et al. — told through hundreds of pages of court records, several sworn depositions, and in nearly two dozen interviews — shows a darker side of Trump’s playboy image.
It foreshadows a reputation for sexism and misogyny that sticks with him nearly 25 years later, in his presidential bid, in which coarse descriptions of women and perceived sexist comments have left him with extraordinarily high unfavorable ratings among women.
While Houraney’s 1995 contractual lawsuit dragged on, Harth filed her separate civil lawsuit complaint on her own in April 1997, spelling out the sexual allegations.
A few weeks after Harth filed her complaint, she dropped it as a condition of Trump settling the suit with Houraney.
Harth declined repeated requests for an interview. Asked why she withdrew her complaint, she said in an e-mail, “It was withdrawn without prejudice at Trump’s demand as a precondition to settling a companion 1995 complaint by the company I worked for. Trump did not want to litigate my complaint.
“I stand by everything written in the complaint or I would not have signed it,” she added. “It’s best for me not to comment about how Donald was then or if we reconciled now.” [The Boston Globe, 4/16/16]
Trump Called Former Miss Universe Alicia Machado “Miss Piggy” And “Miss Housekeeping.” During the September 26 presidential debate, Hillary Clinton said that Trump, who owned the Miss Universe pageant from 1996 to 2015, had called former Miss Universe Alicia Machado “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping.” During an interview on Univision’s Al Punto, Machado confirmed Clinton’s comments, telling host Jorge Ramos that Trump had treated her terribly and had mocked her appearance, calling her “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping” and saying she was an “eating machine.” She also said the experience had caused her “huge emotional pain.” Meanwhile, Trump doubled down on his criticisms, saying on the September 27 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends that Machado had “gained a massive amount of weight and it was a real problem.” From the May 22 edition of Univision’s Al Punto:
JORGE RAMOS (HOST): What happened? What happened when you win Miss Universe in 1996, you were 18 years old, and then the New York Times report says you had gained weight after. Enter Donald Trump; what happened?
ALICIA MACHADO: Well, first I want to take advantage of this opportunity to talk to the Hispanic community, with all the love I’ve always had for it in the past 20 years, to tell them that all of what’s happening with my voice is not something I have sought out. It’s something that has come to me. The people from The New York Times have come to me and asked me to speak for this report, along with other women who’ve had the opportunity or had the experience of being close to Trump, women of different socioeconomic status and careers.
RAMOS: And how did Donald Trump treat you?
MACHADO: Terribly, and this isn't something new for me to say. I’ve been saying this for 20 years, what I lived through in that year, how that affected me as a person, I suffered a lot of psychological violence.
RAMOS: We’re going to show a video of you, when you get there, and you told this story to the NYT, you get to the gym--
MACHADO: Yes and I had no idea any of this was going to happen.
RAMOS: You didn’t know there was going to be media?
MACHADO: No, I didn’t know anything at all. All that I can say about Trump is something I can prove, it’s all documented, I’m not making anything up.
RAMOS: These reporters, you didn't know they would be there.
MACHADO: No, I didn’t know they were going to be there. This happened about four months -- yes, I think it was around December or November, because I remember it was really cold in New York. And I had won in May, so it wasn’t like I gained weight immediately. I won the best body in Miss Universe that year, I lifted a lot of weights. It was the time where fit bodies were starting to become trendy, “light” things were trendy.
RAMOS: How did all of this affect you?
MACHADO: A lot. I'm going to tell you quickly, I went to the company and asked them for help, I went to their office in Los Angeles. I told them I had gained weight, I don't feel happy, if you put me with a nutritionist I can lose this weight quickly. They told me pack your bags you're going to New York. I said great, I go to New York, and the next day they tell me we’re going to a gym, to set me up with a personal trainer, and a diet. And when I arrived at the gym, I find all this [media] circus. And I tell him I don’t want to do it, that I was embarrassed. And he said, "I don't care, I pay you for this, smile.”
RAMOS: You have a big social media presence. One of your followers asked, "Why did it take you so long to denounce this?"
MACHADO: Because he wasn't running for president before, I think -- he's not going to run a casino, he's going to run a great nation, the United States. I also had to overcome a huge emotional pain that even now when I remember it I am upset about it --
RAMOS: You responded saying, "I didn't think he could ever be a presidential candidate and when I was 18 I was afraid [of speaking out]. Without fear." You were scared of Donald Trump?
MACHADO: Of course. Very afraid, I was very afraid of him. How could I not be, if was coming from a city at 18 years old as a beauty queen, I didn't have a multimillionaire family that could support me against such a powerful man. So I want to take the opportunity to tell voters in this election -- this country and the world does not need a man who can just do business. I also think we need a good human being, a person with a good heart, and I am totally and absolutely convinced that Donald Trump is not a person that has a good heart.
RAMOS: You will become a citizen of the United States soon?
MACHADO: Yes, I want to be able to vote, to have the moral authority to be able to fight for the well-being of this country. I forgave Trump for this episode and other things that happened in that time --
RAMOS: What else did you see, in Donald Trump and his treatment of other people?
MACHADO: I'm just going to be talking about my own experience. What I lived was not pleasant, it was humiliating. He's a cold, calculating person, he’s a man that has very little consideration for anyone he thinks is inferior.
RAMOS: He called you Miss Piggy once?
MACHADO: He called me Miss Piggy, he called me Miss Housekeeping, he called me an eating machine. And I would argue with him saying that I'm Latina and have a little bit more than others.
RAMOS: You considered in an insult at that time?
MACHADO: Yes of course, and it was also how he said it. It’s not just what they say to you, it’s also how they say it. [The Washington Post, 9/26/16; Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/27/16; Univision, Al Punto, 4/22/16]
Ailes Left Fox News Amid Numerous Sexual Harassment Allegations Kicked Off By A Lawsuit Brought By Former Anchor Gretchen Carlson. Former Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, a Trump campaign adviser, was forced out of the position after former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson sued him for sexual harassment in July. More than two dozen other women have since “come forward with what they describe as similar harassment claims against Ailes that stretch across five decades back to his days in the 1960s as a young television producer.” Carlson’s suit was settled for a reported $20 million, with Fox News’ parent company paying the bill and issuing a public apology to Carlson, saying she was not “treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of our colleagues deserve.” CNN’s Brian Stelter called the apology “an implicit acknowledgement of the harassment or the retaliation” she faced. Ailes’ firing from Fox included a $40 million severance package. [Media Matters, 9/27/16, 9/23/16; The Washington Post, 7/22/16; CNN, CNN Newsroom, 9/6/16; CNN, The Lead with Jake Tapper, 7/21/16; New York magazine, 7/19/16]
Former Fox Booker Was Allegedly “Sexually Harassed And ‘Psychologically Tortured’ By Roger Ailes For More Than 20 Years.” New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman reported that former Fox News booking director Laurie Luhn claims to have been “sexually harassed and ‘psychologically tortured’ by Roger Ailes for more than 20 years.” Sherman’s report detailed Luhn’s on-the-record retelling of her workplace torment, which further illustrated Ailes’ allegedly predatory behavior and demonstrated how the network reportedly helped cover it up. “By 2006, Luhn said, Ailes was regularly demanding phone sex in the office,” and engaging in other deplorable harassing behaviors, “including forcing Luhn to “lur[e] young female Fox employees into one-on-one situations with Aies that Luhn knew could result in harassment.” Luhn’s settlement document with the network “precludes her from speaking to government authorities like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the FBI. Not to mention the press,” but she decided to speak out anyway. From Sherman’s report:
The morning after Fox News chief Roger Ailes resigned, the cable network’s former director of booking placed a call to the New York law firm hired by 21st Century Fox to investigate sexual-harassment allegations against Ailes. Laurie Luhn told the lawyers at Paul, Weiss that she had been harassed by Ailes for more than 20 years, that executives at Fox News had known about it and helped cover it up, and that it had ruined her life. “It was psychological torture,” she later told me.
In late 2010 or early 2011, Luhn said, she wrote a letter to Fox lawyer Dianne Brandi saying she had been sexually harassed by Ailes for 20 years. Brandi did not acknowledge receipt of the letter, but, according to a source, she asked Ailes about the sexual-harassment allegations, which he vehemently denied. Ailes, according to the source, told Brandi to work out a settlement. Luhn hired an attorney to negotiate her exit from Fox. Through a spokesperson, Brandi declined to comment.
On June 15, 2011, Luhn and Brandi signed a $3.15 million settlement agreement with extensive nondisclosure provisions. The settlement document, which Luhn showed me, bars her from going to court against Fox for the rest of her life. It also precludes her from speaking to government authorities like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the FBI. Not to mention the press. Aware that speaking with New York on the record could pose legal risks, Luhn was insistent that she wanted to tell her story. “The truth shall set you free. Nothing else matters,” she told me. Her family friend also said this is what Luhn wanted. [New York magazine, 7/29/16]
Former Fox Host Andrea Tantaros Filed Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Ailes. Former Fox host Andrea Tantaros filed a lawsuit in August alleging that after she rejected repeated unwanted advances from Ailes in 2014, the network denied requests from “prominent and credible media outlets to interview Tantaros” but arranged for her participation in an interview with “a website reportedly controlled by Ailes.” She said that during the interview she was “humiliated by the interviewer,” who asked her about “her breasts -- all while a Fox News media relations staffer” observed the interview “but did not object.” As CNN’s Brian Stelter reported, Tantaros’ lawsuit described Fox News as having a “Playboy mansion-like culture steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny”:
BRIAN STELTER: Now a second former Fox News host alleging sexual harassment by Roger Ailes. But this new lawsuit goes further, naming several other defendants as well as Fox News as a whole. Now when Gretchen Carlson filed her suit back in July, it really opened up this wider story about the culture and the conduct of Fox News officials and of what women employees of the network experience both on-air and off the air. Now once Carlson sued, the owners of Fox News, the Murdochs, initiated an internal view done by an external law firm. And that's when women came forward, we believe more than 20 women came forward speaking to the law firm about their experiences with Ailes. However, until now only one person, Carlson, has been suing. Now Andrea Tantaros is joining Carlson by filing her own lawsuit alleging retaliation by Ailes after she tried to complain about harassment by Ailes and other men at Fox News. Now this suit has some pretty shocking allegations, and here’s what the beginning of it says: it says “Fox News masquerades as a defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy mansion-like cult steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny.” The suit goes on to say that Tantaros tried to complain to several people at Fox News, several executives, about alleged harassment and that these complaints fell on deaf ears. As a result she says she was retaliated against. She was demoted and eventually benched by the network back in April. At the time, people at Fox said this was the result of a contract dispute, that she tried to publish a book without receiving the necessary approvals from Fox News. But now Tantaros' attorney is saying that was a sham, that the real thing that was happening behind the scenes was that Fox News was trying to keep her quiet about this alleged harassment. Now the suit goes on to say this isn't just about Ailes. I quote this complaint “gives life to the saying that ‘the fish stinks from the head.’” It names several other executives at Fox News, including Bill Shine, who was recently appointed the new co-president, in effect taking over for Ailes. It also singles out the public relations arm at Fox News, saying the PR people were leaking negative stories about Tantaros and putting items on blogs and on Twitter feeds that were meant to disparage her and hurt her reputation. So far, Fox has had nothing to say about this new lawsuit, but Ailes continues to deny the allegations against him, and Bill Shine, the new co-president, said a couple of weeks ago, that he was never told by Tantaros of harassment by Ailes. Carol, we’ll see how the story develops in the days and weeks to come. [CNN, CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello, 8/23/16; Media Matters, 8/8/16, 8/23/16]
Fox Anchor Megyn Kelly Claimed Ailes “Made Unwanted Sexual Advances Toward Her.” Fox anchor Megyn Kelly “told investigators that Ailes made unwanted sexual advances … when she was a young correspondent at Fox,” according to New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman:
As a chorus of prominent Fox News women have gone public defending Roger Ailes against the wave of sexual-harassment allegations sparked by former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson’s lawsuit, the network’s biggest star, Megyn Kelly, has been conspicuously silent. Kelly’s refusal to join in Ailes’s orchestrated defense has led to speculation about why.
Now we have the answer. According to two sources briefed on parent company 21st Century Fox’s outside probe of the Fox News executive, led by New York–based law firm Paul, Weiss, Kelly has told investigators that Ailes made unwanted sexual advances toward her about ten years ago when she was a young correspondent at Fox. Kelly, according to the sources, has described her harassment by Ailes in detail.
Kelly’s comments to investigators might explain why the Murdochs are moving so quickly to oust Ailes. As New York reported yesterday, Rupert and sons James and Lachlan, the three top executives at 21st Century Fox, have, according to multiple sources, decided that Ailes needs to be removed. Kelly, who has become something of a feminist icon thanks to her tangles with GOP nominee Donald Trump, is seen by many inside Fox as the future of the network. She’s currently in contract negotiations, and given that Bill O’Reilly has said he’s considering retirement, Fox can’t afford to lose her.
Back in the mid-2000s, when Ailes allegedly harassed her, Kelly, a former corporate attorney, was a legal correspondent in Fox’s Washington bureau. Soon she was appearing regularly on Bill O’Reilly’s show and hosting her own legal segments. In 2010, Ailes gave her a two-hour daytime show, and in 2013, he moved her into prime time to replace Sean Hannity at 9 p.m. [New York magazine, 7/19/16]
Fox Owners The Murdochs Found “Ailes Was Harassing Women In His Fox News Office" “For Years.” CNN’s Brian Stelter reported September 6 that Fox executives Rupert, James, and Lachlan Murdoch privately “concluded that, yes, Ailes was harassing women in his office at Fox News, that there was inappropriate behavior going on for years.” Jake Tapper noted that the $20 million settlement plus the public apology “seems an awful lot like an admission of guilt.” From the September 6 edition of CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper:
JAKE TAPPER (HOST): Big lawsuit. Big payout. Fox News set to pay a whopping $20 million to settle a lawsuit with former anchor Gretchen Carlson who accused her old boss and former Fox News CEO and current Donald Trump advisor, Roger Ailes. But even more shocking than the sexual harassment, she also received a public apology from the news network. Let's bring in CNN senior media correspondent and the host of Reliable Sources on Sunday, Brian Stelter. Brian, $20 million and an apology? That seems an awful lot like an admission of guilt.
BRIAN STELTER: Yes, it does. The Murdochs who own Fox News have not publicly acknowledged the story, but privately they concluded that, yes, Ailes was harassing women in his office at Fox News, that there was inappropriate behavior going on for years. And these settlements today are an attempt to move on. Think about this, Carlson lost her job. Then she sued the most powerful man in media. Normally, we know what happens next. It becomes a he said, she said, and the allegations are swept under the carpet. But this time, the story ended differently.
STELTER: The real story behind Carlson's sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes will now never see a courtroom. Fox's parent company announcing a bombshell $20 million settlement made by the network on behalf of Ailes. Fox issuing a highly unusual statement saying "we sincerely regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect that she and all our colleagues deserve."
So the Murdochs are clearly trying to move on while Ailes is still fighting. He resigned under pressure in late July, and now the GOP strategist turned TV boss is giving advice to Donald Trump, though not formally working for the campaign
One of the networks' best known hosts, Greta Van Susteren exercising the clause in her contract today letting her walk out the door now that Ailes is out. She says on Facebook: "Fox has not felt like home to me more a few years." Now she is looking for a new broadcasting job, as for Carlson, maybe there is advocacy work in her future. [CNN, The Lead with Jake Tapper, 9/6/16]
Former Fox Employees: Ailes “Fostered” A Culture Of Sexual Harassment And Used “Sex Appeal” And “Objectification Of Women” To Boost Fox News’ Ratings. In a July 27 Forbes report, Madeline Berg explained that “former Fox employees” claimed Ailes “fostered” a “sexually charged culture” at Fox News that relied upon both the “objectification of women” and their “sex appeal.” Ailes frequently used “a thin blonde, often large-chested, invariably heavily made up, wearing a fitted and brightly colored dress or skirt, visible through the transparent desk” as a “formula for boosting ratings,” according to the article. Berg quoted a “former anchor” who said a female contributor “claimed her contract required her to remain a size four,” and a "former producer" who said "skirts were a 'requirement'" for female employees. From the July 27 Forbes article:
These “second floor” recommendations reflect one of many examples of the sexually charged culture fostered by Ailes at Fox News and Fox Business News, the two networks he created and ran for the parent company 21st Century Fox.
Following a lawsuit filed against Ailes earlier this month by former anchor Gretchen Carlson alleging sexual harassment and retaliation, FORBES spoke to a number of former Fox employees to get a sense of what went on behind the scenes during the Ailes era.
21st Century Fox declined to comment on the story. Representatives for Ailes did not respond to requests for comments. But the former employees, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, described a culture of objectification of women and an unwillingness to stand up to superiors, including the authoritarian and god-like Ailes, who earned an extraordinary degree of autonomy from his notoriously hands-on boss, media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, due to the unprecedented success he brought to 21st Century Fox.
One part of Ailes’ formula for boosting ratings: sex appeal.
A look at almost any show on the network often shows a thin blonde, often large-chested, invariably heavily made up, wearing a fitted and brightly colored dress or skirt, visible through the transparent desk.
A former anchor recalled a contributor who claimed her contract required her to remain a size four—very thin, especially considering she was 5’9’’.
And a former contributor and guest host said that he even knew female anchors who chose to wore (sic) waterbras to enhance their cleavage due to pressure to look a certain way. [Forbes, 7/27/16]
Steve Bannon Faced A Sexual Harassment Lawsuit In The 1990s For “Sexually Suggestive Remarks” About Women's “Breasts And Body Parts.” Breitbart News chairman Steve Bannon, who is taking a leave to serve as Trump campaign CEO, was accused of sexual harassment in a 1990s court case, in which the suit claimed he “made disparaging remarks about females, made sexually suggestive remarks, [and] discussed females … in a lewd and derogatory fashion,” according to a BuzzFeed News report. Margaret Augustine claimed that Bannon “made comments as women walked by about the size of women’s breasts and body parts in lewd tones and language.” Bannon was accused of telling a woman “once [she]’d done it with him [she]’d never want to do it with anyone else.” From the August 29 article:
Donald Trump’s campaign CEO Stephen Bannon and an associate were accused of sexual harassment in a 1990s court case.
The suit, filed by Biosphere 2’s former director Margret Augustine, named Bass as the primary defendant. Bannon and a fellow banker, Martin Bowen, were also named and accused of having acted as his agents.
In her complaint, Augustine said, “Both Bowen and Bannon were insulting to the plaintiff and other females employees of Biosphere 2, and in their presence, and against their will, made lewd remarks, told offensive off-color stories, made disparaging remarks about females, made sexually suggestive remarks, discussed females they had known in a lewd and derogatory fashion and in general acted with total indifference to the feelings of the plaintiff and other female employees of Biosphere 2.”
Augustine claimed specifically that Bannon once commented the problem with an employee she “was a woman in a man’s job.”
She claimed that during a trip, “Steve Bannon and Martin Bowen made comments as women walked by about the size of women’s breasts and body parts in lewd tones and language. Martin spoke about a centerfold in Playboy magazine who was born in a town he went to school in or grew up in, in Texas on 5 separate occasions, discussing the size of her ‘boobs,’ ‘titties,’ etc.”
She said at company party she danced with Bannon and he “held my wrist tightly and told me that once I’d done it with him I’d never want to do it with anyone else.”
On another occasion, she said Bannon yelled at her, citing another employee’s performance.
“Steve Bannon started shouting at me that the whole ‘Goddam problem was that I let Larry Pomatte get his swinging dick in here.’ I stood up and said I would not continue a meeting being spoken to in that manner. Steve said, ‘You will Goddam well will sit the fuck down and…’” She said she was shaken and ended the meeting. [BuzzFeed News, 8/29/16]
Bannon Called A Former Female Employee “Self-Centered,” “Deluded,” And A “Bimbo.” BuzzFeed reported that Abigail Alling, a former employee of Bannon’s, alleged that Bannon threatened “to deliver a ‘reality check’ to her and ‘kick her ass’” in a recorded conversation where he also called her a “self-centered, deluded young woman” and a “bimbo.” From the September 1 BuzzFeed article:
In 1994, a former employee, Abigail Alling was indicted for damaging the facility during a break-in that she said was intended to warn crew members that new management, including Bannon, couldn’t safely run the project.
As part of Alling’s defense, her attorneys presented a partial transcript of a conversation Bannon had on April 17, 1994 — four days before Bannon delivered his grand jury testimony in the case against Alling — in which Bannon discusses his plan to deliver a “reality check” to her and “kick her ass.” The conversation was recorded by Biosphere II engineer William Dempster.
Bannon initially denied making the disparaging comments about Alling, according to court documents reviewed by BuzzFeed News. In the recordings obtained by BuzzFeed News, Bannon referred to her as a “bimbo,” “self-centered,” and “deluded.” In the recordings, he vows to take comments the woman made about the safety of the research facility they worked at and “ram it down her fucking throat.”
In another part of the conversation, Bannon says, “She thinks she’s a goddess. She thinks she’s above us all. She thinks she’s transformed something that we are not worthy of. Well you know what, I don’t buy that. I think she’s a self-centered, deluded young woman and she is about to get a reality check that I’m going to deliver to her.”
At one point, Bannon said he was going to take how the facility was run while Alling was still an employee and “ram it down her fucking throat.’ [BuzzFeed, 9/1/16]
Bannon Was Charged With Domestic Violence And Battery Against His Ex-Wife. Politico reported that in 1996, Bannon “was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, battery and dissuading a witness following an incident in early January 1996, though the case was ultimately dismissed.” According to the report, “Bannon’s then-wife claimed he pulled at her neck and wrist during an altercation over their finances, and an officer reported witnessing red marks on her neck and wrist to bolster her account. Bannon also reportedly smashed the phone when she tried to call the police.” The police report also contained an allegation of past abuse from Bannon: “In the beginning of their relationship, she said they [had] 3 or 4 argument that became physical and they had been going to counseling.” [Politico, 8/25/16]
Roger Stone Has A Long History Of Making Violent, Sexist Attacks. Former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone, who still advises the candidate in an unofficial capacity, has a long history of making violent, racist, and sexist comments. In 2008, Stone established the anti-Hillary Clinton 527 group Citizens United Not Timid, with the acronym “C.U.N.T.” Stone has tweeted that New York Times columnist Gail Collins is an "elitist c*nt," that MSNBC host Rachel Maddow is "Rachel the muff-diver," that Fox News’ Megyn Kelly has a "nice set of cans,” and that Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) is a “jap” (acronym for Jewish American Princess) who is “every man’s first wife.” The Sun Sentinel also reported that Stone called Florida politician Barbara Stern a “self-important, nasty cunt” on Twitter. [Politico, 1/7/16; Sun Sentinel, 8/16/14; Media Matters, 1/8/16, 4/22/16, 9/28/16]
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