President Trump's top lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday that women who act in adult films aren't worthy of respect, and Trump said two days later that he doesn't disagree. Nevertheless, Giuliani's comments were broadly condemned as misogynistic, and on Thursday, MSNBC host Nicole Wallace asked if Melania and Ivanka Trump, who haven't denounced or otherwise addressed Giuliani's remarks, are "dead inside."
"I respect women — beautiful women and women with value — but a woman who sells her body for sexual exploitation, I don't respect," Giuliani said at an event in Tel Aviv Wednesday. The former New York mayor was addressing allegations that Trump had an extramarital affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels in 2006, allegations that Trump vehemently denies. At the same event, Giuliani insulted Daniels' appearance and implied that she was too ugly for Trump to have had an affair with her.
Giuliani faced blowback from all sides of the political spectrum for his remarks, with Democrats and Republicans alike denouncing them. Wallace, a former Republican operative who worked on Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, and the panelists on her show focused on what impact remarks like Giuliani's might have on the women in Trump's family.
"What he said about Stormy Daniels was disgusting and gave me a pit in my stomach from the second I woke up this morning," panelist and Vanity Fair reporter Emily Jane Fox said on Wallace's show Thursday. "But my first reaction was, 'This is so disrespectful to the first lady.'"
“Well, let me ask you," Wallace responded. "You know more about the Trump women, the Trump family, than anyone. What do they do on a day like today? Are they just the most stoic human beings? Are they numb? Are they dead inside? Are they paid off? I mean, what's their deal?”
"Yes, yes, and yes," Fox replied. She then added, however, that Ivanka and Melania "do not see President Trump the way that all of us see President Trump."
"Ivanka Trump is the most masterful compartmentalizer that America has maybe ever seen," Fox said. "Her ability to separate something like [Giuliani's comments] out from then going and sitting in the West Wing and doing her job, or going and visiting her father in the Oval Office — she's able to separate those things in a way that you and I probably can't understand."
While Giuliani touched on a wide variety of topics during his interview Wednesday, he spoke at length about the types of women he does and doesn't respect after the Daniels allegations came up.
"I have to respect criminals," the former mayor explained. "I'm sorry, I don't respect a porn star the way I respect a career woman, or a woman of substance, or a woman who has great respect for herself as a woman, and as a person and isn't going to sell her body for sexual exploitation." Giuliani also said that Daniels, by virtue of her career, "has no reputation."
After Giuliani's remarks were reported Wednesday, Daniels' attorney Michael Avennatti called Giuliani "an absolute pig" and demanded that Trump fire him.
"His comments are piggish, they are outrageous, especially in today's day and age, and he should be fired immediately by the president," Avenatti said late Wednesday on CNN. "I certainly hope that we are not going to reach a place where Rudy Giuliani is going to be the police, who is going to decide which women deserve respect or not."
Trump, however, is unlikely to give Giuliani a pink slip over the comments: When asked about the controversy Friday, the president told reporters that he's "not going to disagree with" Giuliani's claims about the respectability about women who work in porn.