President Trump on Wednesday placed himself at the center of the anguished national debate over sexual assault, suggesting in his defense of embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh that the #MeToo movement was “very dangerous” and unfairly threatened an entire class of powerful men.
Trump’s expansive argument cast doubt on the credibility not only of the three women who have accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, but also on scores of other women who have claimed sexual abuse by prominent men, including the president himself.
In his defiant rush to rescue Kavanaugh’s nomination, Trump effectively sought to draw a line in the sand against the growing number of allegations that have felled male authority figures in politics, the media and business — including many, Trump acknowledged, who have been his friends.
“When you are guilty until proven innocent, it’s just not supposed to be that way,” Trump told reporters. “That’s a very dangerous standard for the country.”
During a freewheeling, 81-minute news conference Wednesday in New York, Trump was asked whether the sexual assault or harassment allegations brought against him by more than a dozen women — claims he denies — influenced his thinking about Kavanaugh’s accusers.
“Absolutely,” Trump said. [Continue reading…]