Trump Should Be Briefed On How NOT to React to Alleged Predators and Abusers

On Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump weighed in on the scandal that has plagued the White House this week — and let’s just say he didn’t stick the landing. After the resignation of WH Staff Secretary Rob Porter over accusations of domestic abuse, Trump wished him well, hoped he has a “great career ahead of him,” said he “did a good job,” and stressed that Porter has claimed his innocence. Calling the president’s remarks tone-deaf would be putting it mildly. Sadly, his reaction to Porter is consistent with his reactions to other friends and associates who have been accused of harassment and assault.  He expressed similar rhetoric last fall towards GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, who was accused of child molestation. He defended Bill O’Reilly, saying he didn’t think the fired Fox News host did anything wrong despite all the settlements he had made at the network. Long he became president, Trump defended Mike Tyson after he was convicted of rape. And despite the opposite tone he had during the 2016 election, he actually defended Bill Clinton back in the 90s, insisting the president himself was the “victim.” He has no problem calling out people for abuse he has no association with as seen in this resurfaced tweet he made about “beater” Chris Brown. It’s worth noting that Trump has praised nearly everyone who has resigned from his administration, from Gen. Mike Flynn, Reince Priebus, to even Steve Bannon. But he has had a consistent problem with distancing himself from those who are politically toxic, specifically accused predators. And he of all people ought to be cautious with how he handles them since he too was accused of misconduct by several women during the campaign. Trump’s biggest problem is whether it’s Porter, Moore, or O’Reilly, he repeatedly gives them the benefit of the doubt despite the mounting, credible evidence against them. Yet, he isn’t as charitable when it comes to others like the FBI or Hillary Clinton. In other words, he’s overly selective as to those who he believes is innocent (aka his friends and allies) and who he believes is guilty (aka his political foes). It may be his gut instinct to defend the soldiers on his team, but it’s not worth tarnishing your own image just to throw them a bone. Since it seems humanly impossible for the president to simply say “no comment” about such controversies, then perhaps the women surrounding him can teach an old dog new tricks. You’d think between Ivanka Trump, Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Hope Hicks, Mercedes Schlapp, and First Lady Melania Trump that they can guide the president with an appropriate response to these scandals that affect women. Denouncing harassment and assault would be a great start. Expressing sympathy for the alleged victims more so than the alleged predators would certainly help. Even refraining from complimenting these men would prevent the criticism Trump has constantly received. It is clear that the White House botched their handling of the Porter scandal from the start, but it doesn’t help when the president creates more damage during damage control. We’re already into the second year of this presidency and it’s as if it’s still amateur hour in the West Wing. It doesn’t take rocket science to appropriately respond to these crises. It only takes common sense.

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