Editor's Note: This story has been updated with the revelation that Trump in 2005 discussed women in sexually explicit terms and described assaulting one.
Donald Trump says women who face sexual harassment at work should just quit. Coming from him, this makes perfect sense.
That’s what he told USA Today columnist Kirsten Powers, when she asked what he hoped his daughter Ivanka would do if her boss was sexually predatory.
“I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case,” he said.
This is very much in character for Trump.
Over the course of his decades in public life, the mogul has consistently defended powerful men who face charges of sexual misconduct, consistently erring on the side of the bitch-set-him-up thinking (h/t former D.C. mayor-for-life Marion Barry).
In Donald Trump, men connected to a host of sexual crimes and scandals found a consistent, loyal apologist.
In 1992, after heavyweight-boxing champion Mike Tyson was convicted of raping Desiree Washington, Trump still defended his longtime friend.
“You have a young woman that was in his hotel room late in the evening at her own will,” the mogul said, in a video clip BuzzFeed News obtained in April.
“You have a young woman seen dancing for the beauty contest—dancing with a big smile on her face, looked happy as can be,” Trump added. “It’s my opinion that to a large extent, Mike Tyson was railroaded in this case.”
Tyson endorsed Trump’s presidential run in April. And Trump was delighted. “Mike Tyson endorsed me,” he said at a rally. “I love it... when I get endorsed by the tough ones, I like it.”
Trump and the Clintons both have ties to another convicted sex criminal. Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein was convicted of soliciting sex from an underage girl in 2008. He has settled lawsuits and faced accusations from dozens more alleged victims, some as young as 13.
Before Epstein’s crimes came to light, the pedophile hosted both Trump and Bill Clinton at his extravagant parties. The former president also flew on Epstein’s private jet—called “The Lolita Express”—over two dozen times from 2001 to 2003.
“I’ve known Jeff for 15 years,” Trump told New York Magazine in 2002. “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it—Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”
But you don’t have to be a convicted pedophile for The Donald to come rushing to your defense. Just being an older creep making advances on a younger woman will suffice. Take the time Trump downplayed Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky.
“Look at the trouble Bill Clinton got into with something that was totally unimportant,” he told CNN in 2008. “And they tried to impeach him, which was nonsense. And yet Bush got us into this horrible war with lies, by lying, by saying they had weapons of mass destruction, by saying all sorts of things that turned out not to be true.”
More recently, the Republican presidential nominee has gone to bat for the now-deceased Joe Paterno, the former head coach of the Penn State football team who resigned in humiliation when news broke in 2011 that he did not alert authorities when informed of Jerry Sandusky’s molestation of young boys in the team locker room.
Trump, however, excused Paterno’s failure to stop the child molester.
“I knew Joe Paterno,” Trump tweeted on July 25, 2012. “When he heard what he heard, it just wasn’t his world—a different planet!”
Trump didn’t just defend Paterno; he also criticized the coach’s critics.
“Amazing how fast all of Joe Paterno’s friends abandoned him,” he tweeted the same day. “They ran for the hills.”
He also suggested Paterno’s family sue the university. And he wrote a letter of support to John Ziegler, a crackpot Paterno apologist who endeavored (unsuccessfully) to rehabilitate the former coach’s reputation.
“Thanks—keep up the good fight (for justice),” Trump wrote to Ziegler.
Ziegler published the note on his website, called The Framing of Joe Paterno, and Trump tweeted favorably about their correspondence. And Trump hasn’t abandoned the cause. At a rally in Pittsburgh four months ago, he proposed bringing back a statue of Paterno, which university officials removed from campus after the scandal.
“How’s Joe Paterno? We’re gonna bring that back? Right? How about that whole deal?” the mogul told the crowd.
Which brings us to Ailes—the focus of Powers’s column. Trump immediately defended the former Fox News head.
“I can tell you that some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he’s helped them,” the New York billionaire said on NBC’s Meet The Press, adding that he felt “very badly” for Ailes.
“I think they are unfounded just based on what I’ve read,” he said. “Totally unfounded, based on what I read.”
In Trump’s world, rich and powerful men who face allegations of sexual misconduct find sympathy and support. But the women leveling those allegations? They should just find new jobs.