Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Friday, October 28, 2016

It took a while, but Donald Trump has finally gotten hit by a story that is actually eliciting some sympathetic responses from the media — unfortunately, the story in question is an allegation of spousal rape, published Monday evening on The Daily Beast.

The story’s main reporter, Tim Mak, appeared Wednesday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to discuss his piece, and the initial reactions by Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen — who threatened a lawsuit against Mak, and also falsely claimed that spousal rape is not even a crime at all.

Joe Scarborough, along with Mika Brzezinski and Mike Barnicle, focused their skepticism on Mak himself, and whether it was even appropriate to dredge Ivana Trump’s allegation into the limelight after over 20 years, calling the coverage “ugly.”

Scarborough brought Mak’s appearance to a close by diminishing his reporting entirely: “All right Tim, we’re going to get you back on another topic. I think it’s just better for all of us right now to thank you for coming, and slowly step away from this segment.”

“Boy,” Scarborough said, “he walked right into a buzzsaw.”

Scarborough then cited Mak’s story as an example of why successful people, who have lived “colorful lives,” don’t run for office. He pointed to Donald and Ivana Trump’s post-divorce reconciliation to argue the story’s irrelevance, and speculated that Trump’s high poll numbers may be an indication that voters have grown sick of such sensationalistic coverage.

This was enough for The Donald himself to chime in with characteristic grace, in a tweet of thanks to Scarborough:

Trump is also getting some sympathy from an interesting source: one of his rival Republican candidates. Ohio governor John Kasich was also asked about the story Tuesday night on CNN — and he said such allegations simply shouldn’t be part of the political process. “Just leave him alone,” Kasich said.

“Maybe the nature of the beast ought to change a little bit. […] There are limits here,” Kasich said. “I don’t want to comment, or maybe somebody else will comment on it. I’m not gonna do it, because I’m sure that it is extremely painful for him, for his former wife, for his kids, and, you know, that shouldn’t be what we’re doing in this business.”

It’s an interesting argument — coming from a man who previously voted to impeach Bill Clinton for a sex scandal.

Photo: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, United States, July 18, 2015. (REUTERS/Jim Young)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 The National Memo
  • Dominick Vila

    Could somebody explain why it is inappropriate for a journalist to bring up a claim of spousal rape that happened 20 years ago, and bringing up Bill Clinton’s extra marital affair to undermine Hillary’s candidacy is perfectly fine? Should we assume that rape is not as pervasive as consent in the Republican playbook?

    • Kurt CPI

      No argument that the Clinton-Lewinsky thing amounted to trolling for any politically damaging tidbit that could be used by the opposition party. But there are some major differences. The Lewinsky thing had physical evidence, resulted in disbarment (for lying under oath – not the charge itself which is not illegal). But you make the point that with nothing but the word of Trump’s Ex, this is much farther down the rabbit hole than the Clinton thing.

      • Dominick Vila

        Bill Clinton should not have lied under oath about his extra marital affair, even though many men in similar circumstances would have done the same. The point is that if Bill Clinton’s actions justify continuous coverage, so do the acts allegedly committed by others. We either have a free press, and the right to voice an opinion or challenge politicians seeking the highest office in the land, or we repress it and form opinions based on whatever illusions each candidate – from the right and left – project.

        • Joseph Kelsall

          Grow up! As if anybody is going to admit to an extra marital blow job. Funny enough, I seem to recollect that the instigators of the impeachment got their come uppance. Can anybody elucidate?.

          • Dominick Vila

            That was precisely my point. Anyway, Presidents are supposed to be leaders, not spiritual counselors or saints.

          • Joseph Kelsall

            I agree.

      • Joseph Kelsall

        Lewinsky was an Israeli false flag operation which, when it failed,resulted in Monica bring out the evidence.

    • CrankyToo

      The answer to your second question appears to be “No”. Figuratively speaking, the GOP has been raping US for decades.

  • Kurt CPI

    Regardless of how ridiculous you think Trump’s candidacy is, this is a deep dive into very muddy waters. Nothing is clear, the source is hostile and antagonistic. Unless there’s something to back up the claims other than the retaliatory side of a nasty divorce with $millions at stake, it’s meaningless hearsay. In politics, as in divorce, nothing is sacred. But this is way out there at best.

  • GraceAdams830

    There was a time when wives were considered their husband’s property. On that theory, a husband was entitled to sex with his wife on demand. I feel we have progressed on civil rights for women since those days. Now, persons of both sexes should be gentle with their spouses.