Donald Trump’s surrogates are trying to defend the Republican nominee in the wake of his lewd comments about women by comparing them to the Beyoncé song “Formation” and the erotic-novel-turned-movie “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
Betsy McCaughey, former New York lieutenant governor and Trump supporter, tried to connect Hillary Clinton’s open admiration for Beyoncé with some of the explicit lyrics contained in her hit single.
“[Clinton] likes language like this: ‘I came to slay, bitch,’” McCaughey said on CNN Monday night. “‘When he eff me good, I take his ass to Red Lobster, cause I slay.’”
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) October 11, 2016
“It’s full of the F word, the P word, the B word, the A word,” McCaughey said.
Trump national spokeswoman Katrina Pierson used a similar argument on CNN Tuesday morning after fellow panelist Angela Rye, a Democratic strategist and commentator, said Trump’s comments — which the candidate later dismissed as “locker-room talk” — were a part of “rape culture.”
“I do find it quite rich we have Democrats on the left talking about rape culture when they’re the ones backed fully by Hollywood,” Pierson said. “This rape culture is purported by none other than the entertainment industry, none other than hip-hop music, which you can hear on local radio stations.”
“This is a bigger issue here,” Pierson continued. “We are talking about a society that puts women on a pedestal because of a sex tape. And then we have the audacity to all of a sudden claim there’s a moral compass. This is something that Mr. Trump said in what he thought was in private.”
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) October 11, 2016
In a 2005 videotape published Friday by the Washington Post, Trump was caught on a hot mic bragging to then “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush that he could do anything he wanted to with women because of his celebrity status.
“I just kiss. I don’t even wait,” Trump said. “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the p****. You can do anything.”
Scottie Nell Hughes, a top Trump surrogate, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday night that his remarks were acceptable in the context of today’s pop culture.
“Unfortunately, we have made that to be sort of a part of the culture, a ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ culture in today’s society that men can talk like that,” Hughes said.
“Where have men made it OK to talk like that?” Cooper asked.
“Eighty million copies of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ have been sold,” she replied.
Fellow panelist Ana Navarro, who clashed with Hughes on Saturday when Navarro repeated Trump’s vulgar word on the air, tore apart Hughes’ excuse.
“Let me tell you something. Everything you just said is 50 shades of crazy,” Navarro said. “To compare running for president to an erotic film or an erotic movie, an erotic novel, it’s crazy.”
She added: “If he wants to be held to that standard, great, then go write ‘The Art of the Groping.’ But if you are running for president of the United States, you are a role model. You’re a role model for children … You’re a role model for all Americans. You’re held to a higher standard. You should not be behaving like if you are in a locker room. You should be behaving like if you are in the Oval Office.”