On CNN, former Trump adviser casts doubt on Trump and Moore accusers because they spoke out weeks before an election
Michael Caputo: "I don't believe allegations in the final weeks of a political campaign should be believed just absolutely and automatically"
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From the November 19 edition of CNN's State of the Union:
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JAKE TAPPER (HOST): Let's turn back to the issue of sexual harassment. So President Trump had done a pretty good job of being disciplined in terms of not saying anything about Roy Moore while the White House put out the official line that I said earlier. But when it came to Al Franken, he could not resist. And he went on to Twitter and he attacked Al Franken. And, obviously, saying that the allegations against Franken were credibile. When the White House was asked, "What's the difference between the many accusers against Donald Trump and the one accuser against Al Franken?" Not that numbers matter, but there does seem to be a double standard -- this is what Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: Specifically, Sen. Franken has admitted wrongdoing and the president hasn't. I think that's a very clear distinction.
NEERA TANDEN: I think it's ludicrous. He's basically saying never admit to it and then there's a new standard. It's ridiculous. I'm glad Sen. Franken should go through an investigation. I think we should [run an] investigation for Donald Trump and the myriad of accusers he's faced. The fact that he wants to attack other people when he has faced accusations that are the same, multiple numbers of accusations is ridiculous. I don't know how Republicans defend this.
REP. ROBIN KELLY (D-IL): Also he did admit it on the bus.
TAPPER: The Access Hollywood tape.
KELLY: Right. I mean, he admitted a lot of what --
MICHAEL CAPUTO: I love the way people want to paint that as an admission instead of a joke. I get that. I understand it feeds into your narrative.
TANDEN: What about the 16 women?
CAPUTO: I get that. I don't believe anybody's allegations.
TANDEN: You don't believe the 16 women?
CAPUTO: Hold on a second. I didn't say that. I said I don't believe allegations in the final weeks of a political campaign should be believed just absolutely and automatically.
TANDEN: Let's investigate them.
CAPUTO: Let me tell you this. If the people of Alabama have their choice, and I think that if these allegations against Moore are true then he should step down.
TAPPER: Do you believe them?
CAPUTO: I don't know that I believe anything that comes out of people's mouths in the last five weeks of a campaign.