Dozens of people spoke out in defense of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) Tuesday after President Donald Trump implied she was willing to trade sex for campaign contributions.
In a Tuesday morning tweet, Trump responded to Gillibrand’s call for his resignation by labeling Gillibrand a “lightweight” and “total flunky” for Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). He added that Gillibrand would come to Trump’s office “‘begging’ for campaign contributions not so long ago” and “would do anything for them.”
Gillibrand responded later in the day, calling Trump’s attack a “sexist smear” and tweeting, “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.”
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. https://t.co/UbQZqubXZv— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) December 12, 2017
Actresses, journalists and fellow Democrats came to Gillibrand’s defense on Twitter.
Actress Amber Tamblyn tweeted her shock over Trump’s words, writing, “He’s inferring Senator Gillibrand would use her body to get campaign contributions if she had to. He’s talking. Wow. WOW. This is the president of The United States. Wow.”
MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski also weighed in: “I support @SenGillibrand. She is a great leader and a champion for women. The President crossed another line today.”
During Tuesday morning’s segment of “Morning Joe,” Brzezinski expanded on her comments, calling Trump’s tweet “derogatory” and “disgusting.”
“You treat women terribly, and you treat women around you even worse,” she said. “And you treat women like punching bags because it’s fun for you because you are intimidated by women.”
“And would do anything for them.” He’s inferring Senator Gillibrand would use her body to get campaign contributions if she had to. He’s talking. Wow. WOW. This is the president of The United States. Wow. https://t.co/zzOP0p8yf5— Amber Tamblyn (@ambertamblyn) December 12, 2017
Dear girls of the US: Don't be discouraged. This is not normal. @SenGillibrand has worked tirelessly with integrity, courage & dignity. This stale harassment & derision can't and won't stop her. Ever. Or you. Sorry you have to see a presidency like this. #resist#offthesidelineshttps://t.co/CdtxEElN71— Connie Britton (@conniebritton) December 12, 2017
.@chucktodd: its interesting to me that Trump went after Sen Gillibrand calling on him to resign. She wasnt first person to do that, but she was first WOMAN to call on him to do that. I’m guessing there’s a lot of people in the White House that wish he hadn’t tweeted about this— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) December 12, 2017
WORTH NOTING: Sen. Gillibrand is one of several Democrats who've called on @realDonaldTrump to step down. He is attacking the woman who made the call.— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) December 12, 2017
Many of Gillibrand’s fellow Democrats also voiced their alarm in response to Trump’s tweet.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Ma.) retweeted Trump on Tuesday morning, writing, “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, @realDonaldTrump.”
Other Democratic lawmakers including former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) weighed in on the controversy.
“@SenGillibrand is a fierce advocate for women who deserves the utmost respect,” Speier tweeted. “The President hasn’t seen the full wrath of America’s women yet, but he’s about to.”
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, @realDonaldTrump. Nevertheless, #shepersisted. https://t.co/mYJtBZfxiu— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) December 12, 2017
.@realDonaldTrump your attempts to shame and silence @SenGillibrand will backfire. The American people see you for the cowardly bully that you are -- they know that Senator Gillibrand has more dignity, integrity and courage than you will ever have.— Rep. Nydia Velazquez (@NydiaVelazquez) December 12, 2017
Word of advice for Mr. Trump: publicly disparaging women doesn’t make you look stronger—it only reveals your weakness as a leader https://t.co/zUHfCsx94E— Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) December 12, 2017
.@realDonaldTrump: I call on you to issue an apology to @SenGillibrand immediately, take down this tweet, halt your efforts to silence women who speak out, and stop degrading the Office of the Presidency.” https://t.co/OU4LFnh5cH— Elijah E. Cummings (@RepCummings) December 12, 2017
From fighting to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", to ensuring healthcare for 9/11 first responders, & helping to implement campus sexual assault reforms - @SenGillibrand is a leader, whose voice is needed.— Senator Cortez Masto (@SenCortezMasto) December 12, 2017
The only lightweight here is this #failing President, @realDonaldTrump. https://t.co/TlYC05ud2u
Responding to allegations of sexual misconduct by trying to publicly shame yet another woman, the president has shown us exactly what kind of person he is. Donald Trump has proven to be a poison for the presidency, a cancer on the country, and a truly disgraceful human being. https://t.co/vwpIayYVbd— Rep. John Yarmuth (@RepJohnYarmuth) December 12, 2017
This is a disgusting attack on my friend and colleague @SenGillibrand. President @realDonaldTrump may not like it when women stand up and speak out, but we're not going to back down or be bullied by him. https://t.co/owpfQcgRE1— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) December 12, 2017
Women know Trump is “that guy” -- the insecure sexual predator who bullies any woman who dares to hold him accountable. Here’s what should really terrify him: @SenGillibrand has been standing up for women her whole career. She won’t be intimidated and neither will we. https://t.co/rvDtFMIpQ4— Katherine Clark (@RepKClark) December 12, 2017
I stand with Sen. Gillibrand, a dedicated public servant and friend. America must reject Trump’s sexist slurs.— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) December 12, 2017
.@realDonaldTrump is a misogynist, compulsive liar, and admitted sexual predator. Attacks on Kirsten are the latest example that no one is safe from this bully. He must resign. https://t.co/7lNI23K7ib— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) December 12, 2017
Twenty-one women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct. On Monday, four of his accusers held a press conference urging Congress to open an investigation into Trump’s alleged inappropriate behavior. Nearly 60 Democratic Congresswomen also signed and published a letter Monday night to the chair and ranking members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform calling for an investigation into Trump.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.