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Amid the #MeToo Movement, a U.S. President Who 'Slut-Shames' in Tweets

Trump attacked Gillibrand in a sexually-suggestive tweet on Tuesday. AFP/Getty Images

In a tweet on Tuesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) accused the president of the United States of slut-shaming.

“Are you really trying to bully, intimidate and slut-shame @SenGillibrand? Do you know who you’re picking a fight with? Good luck with that.”

Warren was coming to the defense of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.) whom the president had attacked moments earlier in his own tweet that reeked of sexual innuendo.

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“Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office ‘begging’ for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!”

Gillibrand, meanwhile, issued her own response to the president: “You cannot silence me or the millions of women who have gotten off the sidelines to speak out about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office.”

It would have been a surreal exchange in any circumstance, but it was even more so considering how it all started.

Trump’s tweet was an apparent response to Gillibrand’s demand on Monday that the president resign due to allegations of sexual misconduct—which he denies—that arose before his election. Three women who accuse Trump of sexual assault and sexual harassment appeared on Megyn Kelly Live and held a separate news conference on Monday to reintroduce their claims against the president, which range from groping on an airplane to unwanted kisses in Trump Tower.

Trump essentially countered those accusations on Tuesday with more degrading behavior: sexual harassment toward Gillibrand. Trump did with his words what his accusers claim he did with his hands and lips: reduce women to their sexual attributes, casting them as subservient play things of powerful men.

Given Trump’s track record of hurling crude and uncreative insults at women who criticize him (recall his “bleeding badly from a face-lift” comment about MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski and his poorly veiled reference to Megyn Kelly’s menstrual cycle), Tuesday’s tweet might have made just a ripple had it not landed so squarely in the swell of post-Weinstein support for women alleging mistreatment by powerful men.

The contrast is head-spinning.

As the public pays credence to accusers, the White House calls them unequivocal liars. While pop culture heralds the women who’ve come forward, Trump answers their outcry with the exact behavior they’re speaking out against.

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