Senator Leading #TrumpToo Call Won't Be Silenced By President's "Sexist Smear"
"You cannot silence me or the millions of women who have gotten off the sidelines to speak out about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office."
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) quickly fired back at President Donald Trump on Tuesday after he posted a crude tweet about her, attacking the lawmaker amid calls for Congress to investigate the president's history of sexual harassment and assault and her suggestion that he resign.
With as many as 19 separate allegations aimed at the president, Gillibrand has been leading the charge in the Senate against Trump and recently called for his resignation.
In his tweet Tuesday morning, Trump lashed out by calling the senator a "lightweight" and then suggested that Gillibrand "would do anything for" his donations before he ran for office.
You cannot silence me or the millions of women who have gotten off the sidelines to speak out about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office. https://t.co/UbQZqubXZv
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) December 12, 2017
After responding on social media, the senator held a press conference, calling Trump's tweet a "sexist smear."
Gillibrand has become a leading voice in calls to hold Trump accountable for his sexual misconduct—including behavior that he openly admitted to in an audio recording that was circulated during the 2016 campaign—just as Democratic lawmakers Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) have been called to account for allegations against them.
The #TrumpToo movement has taken off in recent days, weeks after the #MeToo social media campaign flooded Facebook and Twitter feeds. Supporters want Congress and the Justice Department to open an inquiry into reports that Trump grabbed, forcibly kissed, and harassed women at various times during his career.
As of Tuesday, 277,845 people had signed a MoveOn.org petition calling for an investigation.
Trump has denied the allegations, despite his statement last year that the audio recording in which he bragged about sexually assaulting a woman, was authentic. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday that the allegations took place "long before he was elected president" while also claiming they were untrue.
Speaking to reporters, Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) strongly condemned the president's remarks about Gillibrand, saying, "He's a misogynist and admitted sexual predator and a liar. The only thing that will stop him from attacking us, because nobody is safe, is his resignation."
Sen. Mazie Hirono on President Trump: "He’s a misogynist and admitted sexual predator and a liar. The only thing that will stop him from attacking us, because nobody is safe, is his resignation.” pic.twitter.com/48EBOAgnHP
— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 12, 2017
On social media, Trump critics and supporters of #TrumpToo also jumped to Gillibrand's defense and expressed shock at his comments about the senator, which many said qualified as a new incident of sexual harassment.
Donald Trump is scared to death that Kirsten Gillibrand will beat him in a historic landslide. As he should be.
— Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) December 12, 2017
At least four Democratic senators have called for Trump to resign or consider resigning so far: Cory Booker, Jeff Merkley, Bernie Sanders and Kirsten Gillibrand. Gillibrand, who Trump targeted this AM, is the only woman in that group.
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) December 12, 2017
To be clear: Trump sexually harassed Gillibrand in his tweet by strongly implying she'd have sex for campaign contributions.
— Pé Resists (@4everNeverTrump) December 12, 2017
Hate even dignifying tweets like these -- and I know this isn't the most incendiary part -- but I feel compelled to note that "lightweight" Gillibrand has a magna cum laude degree from Dartmouth. https://t.co/Gk2Z5h4Hbg
— Jonathan Cohn (@CitizenCohn) December 12, 2017