The Senate Majority Leader said he believes the women accusing Roy Moore of sexual abuse, but he turned a blind eye in 2016 to the numerous women who have said the same of Donald Trump.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell now says he believes four women who have accused Alabama Senate nominee Roy Moore of pedophilia and sexual abuse, and has begun to pressure Moore to drop out of the race.
In the immediate aftermath of the bombshell report in the Washington Post which described allegations that Moore had pursued sexual relations with teenage girls when he was in his 30s, McConnell had been among the “if true” contingent of Republicans.
But as the story has snowballed, McConnell is now among the few Republican members of Congress to state unequivocally that he believes the women, and therefore Moore needs to bow out of the race, just four weeks before the special election is to be held.
McConnell’s swipe at the fellow Republican is part of a raging civil war that has broken out with the party, pitting the so-called establishment against Steve Bannon’s white nationalist wing, where Moore resides. (Bannon over the weekend: “Mitch McConnell, you’re like a deer that’s been shot, you’re just going to bleed out brother.”)
So no, McConnell’s demand that Moore step down isn’t being driven entirely by a moral compass — something made more evident by the fact that, when more than 20 women came forward last year to accuse Donald Trump of sexual harassment and assault, McConnell never announced that he believed them, or demanded that Trump bow out of the presidential race.
Instead, McConnell was famously closed-lip about Trump during last year’s campaign, even though he endorsed the Republican nominee.
After the “Access Hollywood” tape was released in October 2016, McConnell did issue a statement castigating Trump for having previously bragged about sexual assaulting women.
But in the weeks that followed, and as the election neared, McConnell retreated into silence.
Does McConnell not believe Jessica Leeds, who accused Trump of fondling her breasts and trying to reach up her skirt during a first-class flight? Does he not believe Rachel Crooks who accused Trump of assaulting her in the elevator at Trump Tower? Or People magazine reporter Natasha Stoynoff who wrote that while on assignment and interviewing Trump at Mar-a-Lago, he showed her the upstairs “and within seconds, he was pushing me against the wall, and forcing his tongue down my throat”?
Does McConnell not believe Mariah Billado, a former Miss Vermont Teen USA, who reported Trump used to routinely walked into beauty pageant changing rooms while underage girls were undressing? And makeup artist Jill Harth who filed a lawsuit against Trump in 1997, accusing Trump of cornering her and groping her in his daughter’s bedroom?
The list goes on and on. All the allegations are in public view and on the record.
If McConnell truly believes the women accusing Moore, one wonders where that integrity has been since Trump took center stage in his party.