Imagine late one night there’s a knock at your front door. You open it. Standing before you is your grown daughter. She’s crying. Her nose has been bloodied, one eye is puffy and bruised. She tells you her husband hit her.
Now, imagine your daughter’s name is Ivanka. And you’re the president of the United States. She tells you your son-in-law, your close adviser, Jared, did this to her. You confront him. He tells you he didn’t do it.
Do you believe him? After all, he said he didn’t do it.
What if it’s your close adviser and Communications Director, Hope Hicks? Would you believe her if she told you the guy she’s been dating did this to her? A guy who says he didn’t physically or emotionally or psychologically abuse either of his two ex-wives. A guy who, until last week, was with you every single day of your presidency, handling highly classified correspondence and papers (despite being denied a permanent security clearance).
Would you believe Hope? Even if her accused boyfriend, Rob Porter, says he didn’t do it?
None of us can answer those questions for the president. And it’s doubtful that he’s introspective enough to seriously consider acts of domestic violence and their consequences.
According to the Violence Policy Institute, nearly three women are murdered in the U.S. each day by current or former romantic partners. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that nearly 4.8 million women experience physical violence by an intimate partner every year.
Clearly, the president, who famously doesn’t like to read, is unaware of these statistics.
The president said that Porter was “falsely accused,” and that the statements of Porter’s ex-wives, Jennifer Willoughby and Colbie Holderness, were “mere allegations.”
In an op-ed in “Time” last week, Willoughby asks, “If the most powerful people in the nation do not believe my story of abuse in the face of overwhelming evidence, then what hope do others have of being heard?”
If President Trump had his way, absolutely no hope. For Hope Hicks, daughters Ivanka or Tiffany, or any woman who is a victim of domestic violence.
The number of women who have stepped forward and accused the president himself of predatory behavior and inappropriate sexual misconduct numbers in the dozens. Given the president’s age, that number is likely far greater.
Why would these women lie? And why is it that the so-called “leader of the free world” is quick to deny both their accusations and further evidence provided by the FBI? Oh, beg pardon, the corrupt agency trying to “get Trump.”
The president lives, breathes, and believes his own brand of reality. Throughout his life, he’s surrounded himself with rapists, sexual predators, abusive men, and misogynists. Some are good friends who just got a raw deal.
President Trump believes pedophiles, like former Alabama senatorial candidate Roy Moore, should be taken at their word. No matter how many women, at great emotional and personal risk, stepped forward and reported experiencing unwanted advances by this self-proclaimed man of God when they were just teenagers.
He also stood by former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion and convicted rapist Mike Tyson. Trump said the whole thing was the fault of his 18-year-old victim. He called the conviction “a travesty.”
Trump backed friend and convicted billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein – a man who court records allege molested more than 40 young girls at his Florida mansion.
In 2002, Trump told “New York Magazine” that Jeff is a “Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it, Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”
As does the president.
Terrific guy, that Jeffrey Epstein. A lot of fun to be with. Especially when he’s soliciting thirteen-year-old girls for prostitution, for which he was convicted, and allegedly recruiting dozens of underage girls into a sex-slave network.
Whether you are a Trump supporter or not, ask yourself, what would you say or do if it was your daughter who had been sexually assaulted or domestically abused?
Most likely, you would not give her husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, or domestic partner the benefit of the doubt. You might even consider doing something in retaliation that could land you in jail.
President Trump said “There is no recovery for someone falsely accused – life and career are gone.” The president says lives have been “shattered.” What about the shattered lives of ex-wives and ex-girlfriends who all contend they encountered nearly identical episodes when involved in relationships with your former aide?
Many people will read and be appalled by the tone of this column. But what is more appalling? Reality? Or the words, actions, and behavior of a former reality television star turned commander-in-chief? How about both.
Blair Bess is a Los Angeles-based television writer, producer, and columnist. He edits the online blog Soaggragated.com, and can be reached at BBess.email@example.com.