‘Debasing’

Trump’s history with women draws scrutiny, but Republicans say voters “don’t care”

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 03: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump arrive to speak to supporters at Trump Tower in Manhattan following his victory in the Indiana primary on May 03, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s interactions with women, including those whom he dated, worked with in business, and judged as part of the Miss USA contest, drew intense scrutiny over the weekend after The New York Times published interviews that suggested a longstanding history of inappropriate remarks about and behavior toward women. Contestants in the Miss USA and Miss Universe contests described Trump inspecting the contestants before the show, asking them to rate one another’s beauty, inviting one of them to come visit him in New York, and humiliating another for having gained weight. According to the interviews, he also polled strangers on how hot they found his daughter, Ivanka, and his wives Marla and Ivana.

In his business dealings, Trump also made women feel uncomfortable at times, discussing women’s bodies — including their “asses” — in real estate meetings, parading around tabloid headlines about his sexual prowess, calling high-ranking government officials “hon” or “dear,” and telling a female colleague who gained weight that she must enjoy candy. Still, some of those women who worked with Trump, including Louise Sunshine and Barbara Res, told the Times they were taken under his wing as protégés and rose through the ranks of his real estate company.

The accounts in the Times were met with push-back from the Republican National Committee and one woman who appeared in the story, Rowanne Brewer Lane. Lane said that the newspaper had put a “negative connotation” on her interaction with Trump, in which he asked her to change into a swimsuit shortly after meeting her at a pool party in 1990. The paper characterized the episode as “debasing” to Lane, but she said she was flattered by it. When asked about the story, Reince Priebus, the chair of the RNC, said that “a lot of things” bothered him, but he didn’t think it mattered to voters.

“I’ve got to tell you, I think that all these stories that come out — and they come out every couple weeks — people just don’t care,” Priebus said.

Read the full story at The New York Times, and the reactions at Politico and NBC News.

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