This was pretty much right on cue, and it had been widely predicted in conservative circles. The only difference is, I didn’t expect it to be quite this fast.
One common theme which has arisen after Al Franken’s announcement that he would be resigning “in the coming weeks” is that the Democrats needed Franken to fall on his sword so they wouldn’t appear hypocritical in calling for Republicans, including Roy Moore, to step aside. But they quickly upped their game this weekend, saying that the accusers who claimed President Trump had sexually assaulted them were sufficient evidence to have him abandon the Oval office. The Senators in question are familiar names in the #RESIST movement, Cory Booker and Jeff Merkley. (CNN)
Two Democratic senators called for President Donald Trump’s resignation over the weekend, citing the multiple accusations from women of sexual harassment and assault against him. Sens. Cory Booker and Jeff Merkley both voiced the sentiment.
In an interview with Vice after a campaign rally for Democratic Alabama Senate candidate Doug Jones, Booker said, “I just watched Sen. Al Franken do the honorable thing and resign from his office. My question is, why isn’t Donald Trump doing the same thing — who has more serious allegations against him, with more women who have come forward. The fact pattern on him is far more damning than the fact pattern on Al Franken.” …
Merkley joined the call in an email fundraising pitch.
“I want to be absolutely clear. Donald Trump should resign the presidency.
One of the key differences between the two situations is that Senator Al Franken at least sort of, kind of admitted to his improper behavior while couching the apology a great deal. President Trump has repeatedly said that the women accusing him are making up their stories and the infamous Access Hollywood tape was nothing more than lockerroom talk. Whether you believe him or not, the fact is that there hasn’t been an admission. It would also be staggeringly out of character for Trump to simply apologize and abscond from his office.
The timing on all of this seems to be worth a look. Clearly, Booker and Merkley were throwing some red meat to Doug Jones’ supporters in Alabama, ginning up the anti-Trump fervor in whatever passes for their base in Alabama. But another article hit the news cycle shortly after they called for Trump to resign. NBC News sent out an alert this morning saying that three of Trump’s female accusers were coming forward to speak out… 24 hours before the voting starts in Alabama.
Three women who have previously accused President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct before he took office spoke out Monday as America’s watershed #MeToo moment continues to unfold.
Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Rachel Crooks, speaking together on “Megyn Kelly Today,” described separate interactions with the president in years past, with one of the allegations dating back several decades.
Holvey said when she competed in Trump’s Miss USA pageant in 2006, Trump came backstage unexpectedly when she and other contestants were wearing nothing but robes and he personally inspected the contestants.
Holvey had one of the most interesting comments of the three. She said that it hurt to see America say, ‘Meh, we don’t care,’ after they told their stories during the election. But now, she continued, “it’s just like, let’s try round two. The environment’s different, let’s try again.”
The atmosphere clearly is different with the advent of #MeToo, and if that’s what she meant then it’s hard to fault her. Of course, some observers will obviously look at the reference to “but now” in terms of the timing and find it hard to ignore that the interview is taking place the day before the Alabama election. Perhaps NBC News could have held it until Wednesday if they didn’t want the story to get swamped with all of the news that will be coming out both today and tomorrow?
This is yet another of these stories about allegations and denials which are difficult to document. As always, the result will be left to the Court of Public Opinion.