Let’s be clear about what happened yesterday, as woman after woman came forward to describe incidents in which Donald Trump groped them or kissed them against their will. These were not truly cases of “he said, she said,” where two parties offer sharply contradictory versions of the truth. These were cases of “he bragged, she confirmed.” In 2005, Trump was caught on tape saying that he did exactly what these women claimed he did.
Here’s what he said:
You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful. . . . I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything . . . grab them by the p***y. You can do anything.
And here he is on his approach to a married woman:
I moved on her actually. You know she was down on Palm Beach. I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it. I did try and f**k her, she was married.
Now compare those words with the allegations. Jessica Leeds told the New York Times that Trump grabbed her breasts on an airplane and tried to put his hand up her skirt. Rachel Crooks said that he shook her hand, wouldn’t let go, and then began kissing her on the mouth. People Magazine writer Natasha Stoynoff reports that Trump grabbed her in 2005, around the same time as the Access Hollywood video, when Melania was pregnant. She was interviewing Trump while Melania was in the house, and claims this happened:
We walked into that room alone, and Trump shut the door behind us. I turned around, and within seconds he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat.
Then, he allegedly said this:
“You know we’re going to have an affair, don’t you?” he declared, in the same confident tone he uses when he says he’s going to make America great again. “Have you ever been to Peter Luger’s for steaks? I’ll take you. We’re going to have an affair, I’m telling you.” He also referenced the infamous cover of the New York Post during his affair with Marla Maples.
“You remember,” he said. “‘Best Sex I Ever Had.’”
The similarities between the allegations and Trump’s boasts are downright eerie, and these aren’t the only accusations. More women are coming forward, including women who claimed that he strolled into changing rooms at the Miss Universe pageant and ogled the contestants, just because he could.
Trump supporters are now reduced to stamping their feet about the timing. “Why are we hearing about this only now? The media’s out to get Trump!” Well, so what. Is anyone shocked that a man who bragged so openly about his sexual sins, who lies habitually, and who so obviously enjoys asserting dominance over people with less power would have such skeletons in his closet?
No, if you’re a Trump fan, this one’s on you. Your eyes were open: You were warned, and you took the plunge anyway. Now you’ve become, as Erick Erickson noted yesterday, the very thing that you were claiming just days ago to hate, the kind of person who excuses multiple accusations of sexual abuse, some of them decades old, in the pursuit of political power.
You should be furious at two people today: Donald Trump and yourself. Trump had the audacity, in the days after the tapes leaked, not only to publicly ally himself with Bill Clinton’s accusers but also to unequivocally deny doing the things he boasted about doing. Is it any wonder that a woman would come forward now? He threw down the gauntlet.
#related#It’s time for some soul-searching. It’s not like you supported a pastor who claimed to be holy and fooled everyone. It’s not like you supported a “family values” politician who lived a double life. You supported a man who has loudly and proudly defied Christian morality his entire life. If you’re surprised, you have only yourself to blame.
We should care far less about the timing than about the truth, and the truth is that women are coming forward to share stories confirming behavior that Donald Trump boasted about himself. That’s the heart of the matter; everything else is just spin.