After a week of exercising some restraint, President Donald Trump on Friday went after Christine Blasey Ford, the California professor who accuses Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were both teenagers in the 1980s.
If the alleged attack was as bad as she says, the president tweeted, there would have been a police report, and she should produce that now.
There are many reasons why victims of sexual assault do not report the incidents to police immediately or ever, including fear of retaliation, shame and, in many cases, the likely lack of consequences for the perpetrators.
Trump himself has a long history of suggesting that women who do come forward to accuse powerful men of abuse aren’t telling the truth. Here’s a rundown:
Trump has denied numerous accusations against himself going back decades.
Jessica Leeds once sat next to the future president on an airplane in the early 1980s. Shortly before the 2016 election, she told The New York Times that Trump had groped her breasts and put his hand up her skirt. Trump denied the story.
When it came out that Ivana Trump, the president’s first wife, said in a 1990 divorce deposition that he once raped her, he denied the incident took place. (She later reversed her story. Per a nondisclosure agreement, she is no longer allowed to speak about her marriage to Donald Trump.)
Kristin Anderson said Trump put his hand up her skirt and touched her genitals in the early 1990s. He denied it.
Jill Harth said in a 1997 lawsuit that Trump once attempted to rape her. Both he and his daughter Ivanka Trump denied it.
Trump’s presidential campaign triggered an avalanche of other accusations of untoward behavior. Cathy Heller said he grabbed her and kissed her at his Mar-a-Lago resort in 1997. Temple Taggart said that was the same year he kissed her upon meeting her. Karena Virginia said Trump groped her breast the following year. Natasha Stoynoff said Trump forcibly kissed her as she was reporting a story for People magazine in 2005. Rachel Crooks said Trump kissed her in 2005, too, after shaking her hand and not letting go.
Trump in October 2016 said the women speaking out against him were “horrible, horrible liars.” Neither he nor his spokespeople have ever budged.
Trump said former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes was “a very good person” as sexual harassment claims piled up against him.
After former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson sued Ailes in 2016 for allegedly terminating her for refusing his “sexual advances,” nine other women came forward describing many incidents of sexual harassment. One woman said the Fox News chief blackmailed her into performing sexual acts.
Speaking to NBC News, Trump defended his friend, saying, “It’s very sad. Because he’s a very good person. I’ve always found him to be just a very, very good person.”
Trump said former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly wouldn’t do “anything wrong.”
The Fox News star was forced out of the network last year following accusations of sexual harassment. In a 2011 affidavit, O’Reilly’s ex-wife swore that he once slammed her against a wall and dragged her down a flight of stairs in their home.
Speaking to The New York Times, Trump said O’Reilly is “a good person” and should not have settled the multiple harassment suits against him.
“I don’t think Bill would do anything wrong,” the president said.
Trump backed then-Senate candidate Roy Moore’s own denial of sexual assault allegations.
In late 2017, the Alabama Republican stood accused of sexually harassing and assaulting multiple underage girls when he was much older than them. Trump at first emphasized Moore’s own denial of the claims.
Then, at a rally, the president attacked one of Moore’s accusers, suggesting she might have tampered with a piece of evidence.
Trump said “you have to remember” that former White House aide Rob Porter denied the domestic violence accusations against him.
Porter resigned earlier this year after two former spouses said he’d abused them in incidents that allegedly included choking and punching. Without mentioning the women, Trump told reporters that Porter had done a good job at the White House and wished him well, saying, “It’s obviously a tough time for him.”
“It was very sad when we heard about it,” the president said. “He says he’s innocent. I think you have to remember that.”
Trump doubts women who accuse powerful men of abuse, that is, unless those men are not on his side.
Directly after a tape emerged in which Trump had once seemed to brag about sexual assault, the then-candidate for president held a press conference with four women who had raised sexual harassment and assault claims against former President Bill Clinton, the husband of Trump’s rival for the White House.
After women began coming forward last fall with disturbing allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein ― a frequent Democratic donor ― Trump said he was “not at all surprised.”
Trump was also quick to pounce on then-Sen. Al Franken when a woman publicly accused the Democrat of sexual misconduct, saying that a photo she provided as evidence “speaks a thousand words.”
“Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps?” Trump asked.
When it comes to abuses against women, it’s painfully clear on whose side the president always stands.