In an interview with NBC News during her time at the Olympics, Ivanka Trump, senior adviser to the President, spoke encouragingly about the #MeToo movement. When it came time to talk about her own father’s record with sexual assault and harassment, however, she wasn’t as open.
In the interview, NBC’s Peter Alexander asked Trump why her father tends to side with the men accused of sexual assault and harassment, instead of with the accusers. “I don’t think that is true,” Trump said in response to Alexander’s claim. “I think that when there are cases of domestic violence, as we saw recently, that cannot be condoned, nobody would condone that. And I think there is a vast spectrum.” Alexander was referring in particular to Roy Moore, a politician from Alabama who was running for senate when nine women came forward to accuse him of assault, and Rob Porter, a White House aide who recently resigned after two of his ex-wives came forward to accuse him of domestic abuse.
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She continued by saying she’s happy to see such a big cultural shift happening with #MeToo, and that this is “a really exciting and important moment in time.”
“I’m proud of the women who are standing up in the face of accusers with credible evidence and credible stories, and we’ve seen a lot of those, a lot of them recently,” she said.
This is the first time Trump has ever spoken about #MeToo directly. After the Golden Globes, Trump commended Oprah for her speech, tweeting “Just saw Oprah’s empowering & inspiring speech at last night’s #GoldenGlobes. Let’s all come together, women & men, & say #TIMESUP! #United” for the tweet on social media.
At another point in the interview, Alexander asked a more pointed question about whether Trump believes the women who have come forward against her father. Fifteen women have come forward against Donald Trump, accusing him of a variety of sexual misconduct. He has denied all these claims, calling them “pure fiction” and “outright lies.” Trump tried to dodge the question at first, by calling it “inappropriate” to ask. But she later said she believes her father.
“I believe my father, I know my father … I think I have that right as a daughter, to believe my father.”