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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

 

On Tuesday morning, as thousands of Alabama voters cast their ballots for a Republican candidate accused of sexually abusing multiple teenage girls decades ago, Donald Trump launched a Twitter strike on one of the most prominent female politicians in the country. Now, the Republican Party is using his sexist smear to help raise money for the RNC.

Whereas Trump’s tweets about Hillary Clinton have largely focused on allegations of corruption, his latest assault on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) was distinctly sexual in nature.

Just what exactly did the president of the United States mean by that parenthetical? Republicans can’t say. Sen. Bob Corker insists he hasn’t seen the tweet, and when asked if he cared to read it, declined. “I don’t know that I want you to show it to me,” he told reporters later in the day. “I can’t respond if I don’t know anything about it.”

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) sounded as though she’d just as soon walk into a cornfield than answer questions about the president’s activity on social media. “I’m sorry, I don’t follow his Twitter,” she told Igor Bobic of HuffPost. Like Corker, Ernst was also offered the chance to see Trump’s tweet. And like Corker, she refused: “No, I would rather not. Thank you.”

As of this writing, not a single Republican senator has condemned the president for insinuating that one of their Democratic colleagues offered to perform sexual favors in exchange for campaign contributions.

The GOP’s silence is galling if entirely unsurprising. This is the same party, after all, that reversed its decision to cut off funding to Roy Moore’s senate campaign after seven women came forward with allegations of harassment and abuse—a decision that ultimately led an RNC committee member to resign in disgust. (Trump himself has been accused of sexual misconduct by 19 women and counting.) Still, it was jarring to see the RNC piggyback on the president’s disgusting remarks with an attack of its own.

 

Earlier this week, Trump recorded a robocall for Moore ahead of Tuesday’s special election. “Hi, this is President Donald Trump and I need Alabama to go vote for Roy Moore,” the recording began. “It is so important. We’re already making America great again.”

Jacob Sugarman is a managing editor at AlterNet.