Trump accusers ‘should be heard’, says US ambassador to UN
Nikki Haley says women who accuse president of sexual harassment have right to speak up
A senior member of the Trump administration said on Sunday that women who accuse the president of sexual harassment or assault “should be heard”.
Nikki Haley, the ambassador to the United Nations, appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation at the end of a week in which two Democrats and one Republican in Congress resigned due to alleged sexual misconduct.
She was asked how the public should assess the long list of women who have accused the president in similar terms.
“Women who accuse anyone should be heard,” she said. “They should be heard and they should be dealt with. And I think we heard from [Trump’s accusers] prior to the election. And I think any woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way, they have every right to speak up.”
Donald Trump, who was famously captured on tape bragging about how his fame allowed him to “grab” women “by the pussy”, has denied all allegations against him. In October, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the administration’s official position was that all the women were lying.
Host John Dickerson asked Ms Haley if Mr Trump’s election victory meant the claims against him were settled.
“You know,” she said, “that’s for the people to decide. I know that he was elected. But, you know, women should always feel comfortable coming forward. And we should all be willing to listen to them.”
Last October, Mr Trump said all his accusers would be sued after the presidential election. That has not happened. In court in New York this week, an attorney for the president said he was too busy and important to appear in a defamation suit brought by one of his accusers.
Ms Haley was also asked about “a cultural shift going on in America right now” over the behaviour of powerful men. Just in Washington, this week saw Democratic Minnesota senator Al Franken and Michigan representative John Conyers announce their resignations over accusations of sexual misconduct and the Arizona Republican representative Trent Franks announce his departure after it was reported that he discussed child surrogacy with female members of staff.
“You know,” Ms Haley said, “I am incredibly proud of the women who have come forward. I’m proud of their strength. I’m proud of their courage.
“And I think that the idea that this is happening, I think it will start to bring a conscience to the situation, not just in politics, but in, you know, we’ve seen in Hollywood and in every industry. And I think the time has come.” – Guardian