Not that she will ever bring herself to use terms like “rapist” or “sexual predator,” but former Governor Nikki Haley, R-S.C., is prepared to openly acknowledge that Donald Trump sexually assaulted journalist E. Jean Carroll.
During her appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Haley commented on Friday’s civil court decision, awarding Carroll $83.3 million due to Trump’s persistent false statements about the incident in a department store dressing room in the ’90s.
“I absolutely trust the jury,” Haley affirmed. “I think they made their decision based on the evidence.”
The readiness to dismiss Trump’s sexual misconduct is seen as an endorsement of rape culture and victim-blaming, issues feminists have long condemned. These comments garnered significant attention as, not too long ago, Haley maintained ambiguity about Trump’s involvement in the crime despite the first court case’s verdict in May confirming his culpability.
While some believe Haley’s shift indicates her willingness to challenge Trump in the Republican presidential primary, others speculate about alternative motives. Haley seems unbothered by potential backlash from Republican voters, as many of them are aware of Trump’s guilt.
The reluctance to condemn Trump’s sexual misconduct aligns with the broader trend of the MAGA base embracing Trump’s belief in “immunity” for committing crimes.
The MAGA base, under Trump’s leadership, has fostered an environment where Trump’s abusive behavior towards Carroll is celebrated as putting her in her place.
Trump’s consistent denial, coupled with his occasional abandonment of innocence pretenses during the first Carroll trial’s deposition, reveals his disturbing attitude toward sexual violence. His insulting remarks about women, including victims, suggest a mindset that justifies sexual assault based on the victim’s attractiveness.
Trump’s post-court loss commentary during a CNN town hall further exemplifies victim-blaming, insinuating that Carroll somehow invited the assault. The audience’s laughter at Trump’s remarks underscores a disturbing acceptance of such views within the MAGA community.
Contrary to the mainstream media’s assumption that everyone condemns sexual assault, the MAGA movement’s ethos seems to revel in cruelty. This sadistic inclination extends beyond gender to include a desire to see harm inflicted on various groups, from migrants to protesters.
A recent report on rape-related pregnancies in abortion-ban states highlights the systematic denial of abortion rights to rape victims. This aligns with a longstanding awareness within Republican circles about the prevalence of rape-related pregnancies. The laughter at Carroll during Trump’s town hall underscores a longing for an era where the blame for rape was placed on the victim, reflecting a broader sentiment within the MAGA movement.
The recent resignation of WWE CEO Vince McMahon amid sexual abuse and sex trafficking allegations echoes Trump’s association with misogyny. McMahon, a close friend of Trump, faces accusations of rape and manipulation, emphasizing a troubling pattern of powerful individuals facing minimal consequences for alleged sexual misconduct.
In the Trump era, sexual predators seem emboldened, finding validation in an environment that downplays and even celebrates their actions. Despite facing financial consequences for his actions, Trump remains popular among MAGA voters, indicating a disturbing acceptance of his sexual predation within this political faction.