Trump Defends 2013 Tweet About Allowing Women to Serve in the Military
Donald Trump on Wednesday defended a tweet that he posted three years ago that stated the estimated number of unreported sexual assaults in the military and then mused: “What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?”
“Well, it is, it is a correct tweet,” Trump said when asked about the tweet during NBC News’ Commander-in-Chief Forum in New York on Wednesday night. “There are many people that think that that’s absolutely correct … Well, well, it’s happening, right? And, by the way, since then, it’s gotten worse.”
26,000 unreported sexual assults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2013
NBC’s Matt Lauer, who led the forum, pushed Trump to better explain himself and asked if the Republican nominee thinks that the only way to end sexual assault in the military is to kick women out. (Sexual assault in the military is not just a problem for women, as that Pentagon has said that many assault cases involve men attacking other men.)
“No, not to take them out, but something has to be happen[ing],” Trump said. “Right now part of the problem is nobody gets prosecuted. You have reported — and the gentleman can tell you — you have the report of rape, and nobody gets prosecuted. There are no consequence[s]. When you have somebody that does something so evil, so bad as that, there has to be consequence[s] for that person. You have to go after that person. Right now, nobody’s doing anything. Look at the small number of results. I mean, that’s part of the problem.”
(h/t Washington Post)
First, from Trump’s statements he was clearly under the impression that we are dealing with only men raping women, and may believe the rape myths that men cannot be raped, and that women cannot be perpetrators.
Donald Trump’s answer never addressed the blatantly sexist overtones of his tweet, and instead called for more prosecutions. However this response also calls into question Trump’s understanding of a very nuanced issue.
According to Human Rights Watch, military personnel who report a sexual assault frequently find that their military career is the biggest casualty. This gives most victims of sexual assault no incentive or protections to come forward or with any recourse once they’ve been booted out of the armed forces.
Trump, however, has said women should be in the military because, “they’re really into it.”