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10 Feb, 2018 23:44

‘People’s lives destroyed by a mere allegation’: Trump weighs in on #MeToo movement

‘People’s lives destroyed by a mere allegation’: Trump weighs in on #MeToo movement

US President Donald Trump has often been accused of misogyny both before and throughout his time in office, but he has largely ignored the message of the #MeToo movement, until now.

Trump began Saturday morning with his almost daily tweetstorm of talking points, ranging from US unemployment statistics, to alleging the Democrats are playing political hardball with their use of language in their response memo to Republican allegations of FBI and DoJ corruption in the Russian collusion investigation.

He also briefly took a sideswipe at the New York Times and his critics before breaking with form to discuss the new wave of political scandals besetting his administration.

“People’s lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused – life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?” Trump asked.

Speechwriter David Sorensen is now the second White House aide to resign within the space of a week following allegations of misconduct and abuse. Sorensen denies allegations by his ex-wife that he was emotionally and physically abusive during their relationship.

Sorensen’s resignation comes just days after White House staff secretary Rob Porter stepped down amid similar allegations made by his two former wives, who claim that he flew into violent rages and physically abused them.

“It’s obviously [a] tough time for him. He did a very good job when he was in the White House. And we hope he has a wonderful career,” Trump said of Porter’s resignation on Friday, as cited by The Australian. “As you probably know, he says he’s innocent. And I think you have to remember that,” Trump added, foreshadowing Saturday’s tweet.

Trump is not alone in condemning the movement, however, with several outspoken voices, including male Hollywood actors, wondering whether the hashtag activism has gone too far, conflating minor sexual faux pas with far more serious, criminal offenses.  

Actor Matt Damon fell foul of the movement by suggesting that it had blurred the lines around inappropriate behavior and thus needlessly eliminated nuance in discussion around sexual misconduct.

READ MORE: ‘Witch hunts should be left in the Middle Ages’: Oscar-winning film director blasts #MeToo

“All of that behavior needs to be confronted, but there is a continuum,” Damon said in December 2017 as cited by USA Today. “On this end of the continuum where you have rape and child molestation or whatever, you know, that’s prison. That’s criminal behavior and it needs to be dealt with that way.”

“The other stuff is just kind of shameful and gross ... I just think that we have to start delineating between what these behaviors are.”

Damon subsequently apologized after online condemnation from actor Alyssa Milano and former female co-star Minnie Driver.

Meanwhile, actor Liam Neeson said there is a revolution taking place around the world “in every business.” However, he later added during an interview that “there is a bit of a witch hunt happening, too,”courtingcontroversy and drawing backlash from many of his contemporaries in the film and television industry.

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