A surrogate for GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump on Sunday denied that Trump mocked the looks of women who have accused him of sexual assault. But even if Trump did so, the surrogate added, it would be fair game, because looks are “germane to the discussion” about sexual assault.
After eight women came forward last week to accuse Trump of sexual assault or harassment (bringing the total number of his alleged victims to 12), the nominee has repeatedly denigrated his accusers by implying they are not attractive.
On Thursday, he attacked the appearance of Natasha Stoynoff, a People magazine reporter who wrote that Trump tried to assault her while she was writing a profile of him in 2005.
“Take a look. You take a look. Look at her,” Trump said at a rally in Florida. “I don’t think so. I don’t think so.”
To clarify, Trump surrogate and conservative commentator A.J. Delgado told MSNBC on Sunday that the GOP nominee was not referring to Stoynoff’s looks.
“I don’t think he was commenting on her looks. They took his remark from the rally,” she said. “I was with him that day where he said, ‘Look at her.’ I use the phrase, ‘Look at Hillary Clinton,’ when I’m referring to the person or the story.”
Delgado then argued that, even if the real estate mogul and former reality TV star were actually referring to Stoynoff’s looks, it would be acceptable, because “when you have somebody claiming that you sexually assaulted them, you have brought looks into the equation.”
“Mr. Trump isn’t referring to anybody’s looks. To the degree that he does perhaps, I don’t think he was referring to her looks. If he did, when you have somebody claiming that you sexually assaulted them, you have brought looks into the equation,” Delgado said.
“If somebody said, ‘A.J. was attracted to me and touched me in an inappropriate manner,’ it’s relevant to the discussion whether that person is the type of person that I would normally be attracted to,” Delgado continued. “He hasn’t mentioned looks. If he did, it would be germane to the discussion. I wouldn’t find that offensive.”
Trump has repeatedly attacked the women who have come forward with allegations. In addition to Stoynoff, Trump mocked multiple other women at a rally on Friday, and even pantomimed groping them.
“Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you,” he said of one accuser.
Of another, he said, “When you looked at that horrible woman last night, you said, ‘I don’t think so.’”
And Trump again referred to Stoynoff, saying: “She’s a liar. Check out her Facebook page. You’ll understand.”
The GOP presidential nominee has a long history of objectifying women and negatively commenting on their looks. In 1996, he fat-shamed Miss Universe winner Alicia Machado, calling her “Miss Piggy” and bringing a camera crew to a gym where she was exercising.
In an infamous feud with Rosie O’Donnell, which started in 2006, he called the actress and talk show host “a slob” and “a very unattractive person” with “a fat, ugly face.” And earlier this year, he mocked GOP primary rival Carly Fiorina, telling supporters: “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?”
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.