Nikki Haley Speaks Up For Trump’s Accusers & Calls For Everyone To Listen
In an interview on CBS's Face The Nation, United States ambassador for the United Nations Nikki Haley spoke up for Donald Trump's accusers. From the dazzling world of Hollywood to the heart of politics on Capitol Hill, the nationwide discussion on sexual harassment and assault has yet to show any signs of slowing down.
On Sunday, Haley was speaking with host John Dickerson about America's ongoing reckoning with endemic sexual abuse in workplaces across the country. Dickerson asked Haley about the developments involving the resignations of Minnesota Sen. Al Franken and Reps. John Conyers and Trent Franks in the wake of sexual harassment allegations. "There's a cultural shift going on in America right now. You saw it, three members of Congress kicked out of Congress because of sexual behavior, misdeeds. You were the first woman senator of South Carolina," Dickerson said. "What do you think of this cultural moment that's happening?"
You know, I am incredibly proud of the women who have come forward. I'm proud of their strength. I'm proud of their courage. And I think that the idea that this is happening, I think it will start to bring a conscience to the situation, not just in politics, but in, you know, we've seen in Hollywood and in every industry. And I think the time has come.
The conversation didn't stop there. Dickerson went further and asked the United Nations ambassador what she believed would be an ideal way to assess accusers in the wake of the allegations against President Trump. Haley said, "Women who accuse anyone should be heard. They should be heard and they should be dealt with. And I think we heard from them prior to the election. And I think any woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way, they have every right to speak up."
Trump was accused by almost 20 women of sexual misconduct, including making vulgar jokes and allegedly touching women without their consent. Although Trump has denied allegations of sexual harassment and assault across the board, including calling the accusers liars, the national focus on the president with regards to the ongoing sexual violence discussion remains.
In addition to the spotlight on the accusations, there seems to be consistent focus on The Washington Post's unearthed 2005 Access Hollywood tapes. In those recordings, Trump can be heard clearly boasting about assaulting women by grabbing their genitalia. "You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. I just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything," he gloated. "Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything," he added.
In 2016, Trump issued an apology for the remarks but ended his statement on less of a self-reflective note and more of a tirade against Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton.
Given those statements and the accusations stacked against him, Dickerson asked if the past year's election "settled" the issue. Haley neither confirmed nor denied that part but said, "That's for the people to decide." She went on to add, "I know that [Trump] was elected. But, you know, women should always feel comfortable coming forward." Most importantly, according to the United Nations ambassador, "We should all be willing to listen to them."
Haley's remarks on Dickerson's show seem to be in contrast to the general attitude of the Republican Party that has, for most part, shown support for Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. Moore, who was accused of sexually assaulting teenage girls, has denied any wrongdoing and enjoys support from Trump himself.
But with Haley's seemingly encouraging statements for Trump's accusers, it looks like the party is anything but uniformly opinionated about the victims of sexual assault.