WASHINGTON — The Trump White House’s handling of abuse charges against men in its midst is frustrating prominent Republican women as the party’s yearslong struggle to attract female voters stretches into the 2018 midterm elections.
“It’s the mixed signals. They’ve just got to be stronger, more consistent, clearer in the message” to women, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said Tuesday. “It’s difficult being a Republican woman to have to fight through that all the time.”
The thrice-married Trump added a new chapter to his difficult history with female voters in the past week by refusing to offer public words of support to the ex-wives of two senior presidential aides. Rob Porter, the president’s staff secretary, resigned last week after ex-wives Colbie Holderness and Jennifer Willoughby came forward with allegations of abuse. DailyMail.com published photos of Holderness with a black eye. Porter denied harming either of them.
A second White House official, Trump speechwriter David Sorensen, left the White House last Friday after his ex-wife, Jessica Corbett, described physical abuse that included being thrown into a wall and burned by a cigarette. He too denied the allegations.
But Trump has had only good things to say about Porter and voiced sympathy for him. The president has refused to express support for the women involved or personally condemn domestic abuse.
“Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new,” Trump said in a tweet Saturday. “There is no recovery for someone falsely accused – life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?”
The tweet especially frustrated Republicans.
“I’m extremely disappointed in this situation. Abuse is never OK,” Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said on CNN Tuesday.
The president still hammers at his vanquished 2016 rival, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, whom he once threatened to throw in prison. His support among Republicans wavered just before Election Day with the release of an “Access Hollywood” recording in which Trump can be heard bragging about grabbing women by their genitals. And more than a dozen women have accused Trump of harassing or assaulting them. Trump called them liars and said he’d sue them — though that hasn’t happened.
The White House says Americans issued their verdict on all of that when they elected Trump. Some 42 per cent of women voted for Trump, while 56 per cent went for Clinton. That’s similar …read more