WASHINGTON ― Ivanka Trump, daughter of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, insists that her father is a feminist. But the GOP candidate has managed to offend women four times in the past four days, even kicking a woman with a crying baby out of his rally and mocking her after she left.
Trump started his latest string of insults on Saturday, attacking a Muslim woman whose son died fighting for the United States in the Iraq War. The real estate mogul criticized Gold Star mother Ghazala Khan in an interview with ABC News because she stood silently next to her husband, Khizr Khan, at the Democratic National Convention while he spoke about their late son.
“[L]ook at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me,” Trump told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos.
Trump’s comments not only insulted Khan herself, but all Muslim American women who are tired of the stereotype that they are oppressed. Khan fired back that she declined to speak at the convention because she was still too upset about the death of her son ― not because her husband or culture forbid her to do so. And female activists in the Muslim American community rallied behind Khan using the social media hashtag #CanYouHearUsNow, hoping to disabuse Trump of his misconceptions about Muslim women.
But Trump didn’t stop there. In an interview with USA Today columnist Kristen Powers published on Monday, the GOP candidate insulted working women across the world when he said that he would expect his daughter, Ivanka, to “find a new career” or company if she were sexually harassed by her boss at work. He made the comment in a conversation about Roger Ailes, the former Fox News chief whom multiple female employees have accused of demanding sex from them in exchange for career advancement.
Aside from the fact that most women do not have the luxury of simply finding a new career after being sexually harassed on the job, Trump said nothing about holding the perpetrator accountable. In fact, he said he was skeptical of the women who accused Ailes of sexual harassment, calling the conservative media executive a “good person” and “very talented.”
“Some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he’s helped them,” Trump said of Ailes in an NBC news interview last week.
Of course, Trump was not content to insult only Muslim women and working women. He decided to publicly mock a woman holding a crying baby at his rally in Ashburn, Virginia, on Tuesday, and then kick both the mom and baby out of the event.
“Don’t worry about that baby. I love babies,” Trump said, sarcastically, after hearing the baby crying during his speech. “Don’t worry about it. I love babies. I hear that baby crying, I like it. What a baby. What a beautiful baby. Don’t worry, don’t worry. The mom’s running around like — don’t worry about it, you know. It’s young and beautiful and healthy and that’s what we want.”
But when the young mom didn’t take the hint that Trump wanted her to leave, he told her more directly.
“Actually, I was only kidding, you can get the baby out of here,” the Republican nominee said to laughter and applause. “That’s all right. Don’t worry. I think she really believed me that I love having a baby crying while I’m speaking. That’s OK. People don’t understand. That’s OK.”
Then, at the same rally, Trump turned his attention to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
“Do you think she looks presidential?” he asked the crowd. “I don’t think so.”
Of course Clinton doesn’t look presidential. Every president the United States has had for 240 years has been a man. But Trump was likely not referring to the glass ceiling when he commented about his opponent’s looks.
It remains to be seen whether these comments will be enough to turn off his female supporters. Before this week, he had called women “fat pigs” and “dogs,” said women should face “punishment” for having abortions, and allegedly called a female attorney “disgusting” when she requested to leave a deposition in 2011 to pump breast milk. But several female delegates at the Republican National Convention in July told The Huffington Post that Trump’s misogynistic remarks made them no less inclined to support him.
“Do I think that some of the things he said are hurtful? Maybe, yeah,” said one mother of three from Minnesota. “But that’s the beauty of our First Amendment. We should be able to say things no matter what.”