Donald Trump says that if his daughter were sexually harassed at work, he hopes she would quit.
“I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case,” Trump told USA Today in an interview that was published Monday night.
The Republican nominee’s comments came during a discussion about the recent sexual harassment allegations against former Fox News chief executive Roger Ailes, who was ousted from his post at the top-rated cable news network last month after multiple women, including former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson, said he had harassed them.
In a July 24 appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Trump called Ailes his “friend” and seemed to question the CEO’s alleged victims.
“Some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he’s helped them,” Trump said. “And when they write books that are fairly recently released, and they say wonderful things about him. And now all of a sudden they’re saying these horrible things about him. It’s very sad. Because he’s a very good person. I’ve always found him to be just a very, very good person. And by the way, a very, very talented person. Look what he’s done. So I feel very badly.”
In his subsequent interview with the USA Today, though, Trump insisted he did not know there were more women other than Carlson complaining about Ailes.
“I didn’t know it was more than just her,” he said.
In an interview with “CBS This Morning,” Eric Trump was asked about his father’s recent comments.
“I think what he is saying is Ivanka is a strong, powerful woman,” Eric Trump said. “She wouldn’t allow herself to be subjected to it.”
Both Donald and Eric Trump’s comments drew a quick response from various critics, who noted that not all women have the financial security to simply quit their job. Fox News host Megyn Kelly, who reportedly told corporate investigators that Ailes also harassed her, issued a one-word response to Eric Trump’s comments.
Eric Trump on handling workplace sexual harassment: “Ivanka is a strong, powerful woman. She wouldn’t allow herself to be subjected to it”
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) August 2, 2016
Kelly, herself, was the subject of infamous comments from Trump earlier in the campaign.
“You can see there was blood coming out of her eyes, um, blood coming out of her wherever,” Trump said of Kelly’s job as moderator following the first GOP debate in Cleveland.
The real estate mogul, though, refused to apologize, saying only a “deviant” would have concluded that those comments were a reference to her period.
“I was referring to nose, ears,” Trump explained on ABC’s “This Week.” “Women are tremendous. And I have many executives that are women. They are doing a phenomenal job. I pay them a tremendous amount of money. They make money for me. They make money for themselves. And in many cases, they truly are really talented and they can be killers.”
After threatening to halt his frequent appearances on Fox News over the dustup with Kelly, Trump said Ailes had assured him that he would be “treated fairly.”
Roger Ailes just called. He is a great guy & assures me that “Trump” will be treated fairly on @FoxNews. His word is always good!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2015
Earlier this week, the New York Post, which, like Fox News, is owned by News Corp., published consecutive covers featuring nude photos of Melania Trump taken in 1995 when she was a model.
“Melania was one of the most successful models and she did many photo shoots, including for covers and major magazines,” Trump told the Post. “This was a picture taken for a European magazine prior to my knowing Melania. In Europe, pictures like this are very fashionable and common.”
“Nothing to be embarrassed about,” Trump campaign communications director Jason Miller added on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” on Sunday. “She’s a beautiful woman.”