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Gillibrand Fires Back at Trump for 'Sexist Smear'

Democrats call out president for tweet
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2017 2:14 PM CST
Warren: Is Trump Trying to 'Slut-Shame' Gillibrand?
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., attends a news conference Dec. 12, 2017, on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – In defending himself against renewed allegations of sexual misconduct by female accusers, President Trump on Tuesday also called out Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand after she said he should resign. Since then, the backlash has been fast and furious from Democrats, including Gillibrand herself, who say Trump's tweet was sexist itself, reports the Washington Post. The White House refutes the notion. Details:

  • The tweet: "Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Charles E. Schumer and someone who would come to my office 'begging' for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump," the president tweeted. "Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!"
  • Gillibrand's response: After tweeting that Trump had brought "shame to the White House," Gillibrand doubled down at a news conference. Trump's tweet, she said, was "a sexist smear attempting to silence my voice." She repeated her call for GOP leaders to launch congressional investigations into the allegations against him. "I will not be silent on this issue."

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  • 'Slut-shame': Several Democrats came to Gillibrand's defense, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren. "Are you really trying to bully, intimidate and slut-shame @SenGillibrand?" Warren tweeted, adding a #shepersisted hashtag. (Slate writer Christina Cauterucci explains why she thinks Warren is off in her use of the volatile phrase "slut-shame.") Rep. Eric Swalwell of California called it "an ugly and suggestive tweet, and we all know what he was trying to say there, and it is beneath the office of the presidency," per the AP.
  • Insinuation? "What do u mean @SenGillibrand would 'do anything' for campaign contributions?" asked former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson. At CNN, Chris Cillizza writes that the tweet falls into familiar territory for Trump: "It exists in a gray area that flicks at some of our darker impulses while not doing so in a totally blatant way."
  • Nope: Asked about Trump's meaning, White House press chief Sarah Huckabee Sanders said “there’s no way this is sexist at all,” adding later, “I think only if your mind is in the gutter would you have read it that way.” She said Trump has used similar phrasing about men when talking about how money can corrupt politics.
  • Republican's request: GOP Sen. Mike Rounds, who says he was actually with Gillibrand at Bible study when Trump's tweet was posted, suggested the brouhaha is overblown. "I think this is simply one of those cases where it is best if we look at what the president does and not pay attention to the tweets," he said, per the New York Times.
  • Six senators: Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii not only blasted Trump as a "misogynist" after the tweet, she, too, demanded that he resign. That makes six Democratic senators: Prior to Gillibrand, male Sens. Cory Booker, Jeff Merkley, Ron Wyden, and Bernie Sanders also called for Trump's resignation, notes Politico.
(Read more President Trump stories.)

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