New York’s junior senator said that women are standing up to sexual harassment and assault and “are not going to be silenced,” while doubling down on her claim that the president’s attack against her was “a sexist smear.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said she interpreted President Donald Trump’s attack that she “would do anything” for campaign donations as a sexual innuendo.
“Well, certainly that’s how I and many people read it,” she said in an interview today on NBC’s “Today Show.”
Gillibrand said she believes the president was attempting to discredit her through the innuendo, in an effort to stifle her voice.
On Tuesday, Trump criticized Gillibrand after she called for his resignation amid sexual harassment and assault allegations made against him by multiple women. Trump has called the accusations “false” and “fabricated.”
“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!” Trump tweeted.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders disputed the idea that the president’s tweet was sexist or a sexual reference, saying “only if your mind is in the gutter, would you have read it that way.”
Today, Gillibrand strongly disagreed with the notion that people who interpreted Trump’s tweet as sexual in nature had their mind in the gutter.
The New York Democrat also reiterated her assertion that Trump should step down from office. She said if he’s unwilling, then “Congress should do an investigation, because we need accountability.”
“I have heard the testimony of many women, numerous accusers,” she argued. “I believe them and he should resign for that.”
She also pointed to Democrat Doug Jones’ victory over Republican Roy Moore, who has denied accusations of sexual misconduct, in last night’s special election as a testament that women will not be kept quiet.
“As we just saw in Alabama, women are not going to be silenced,” Gillibrand said. “African-American women are not going to be silenced and they came out in numbers.”
“[Trump has] often berated women and made them feel that they cannot be heard as well,” she continued. “And what I’m seeing today and what this election of Doug Jones is about is a statement by particularly women, African-American women, and the African-American community, coming out and saying we are going to vote our values.”
So far, five Democratic senators, including Gillibrand, and one independent who caucuses with the Democratic Party, have called on Trump to resign and more than 100 House Democrats have joined a letter to the leaders of the House Oversight Committee calling for an investigation into the allegations against Trump.