Trump selective in criticising sex claims
President Donald Trump is displaying selective outrage over allegations of sexual harassment against prominent men in politics, as his own tortured past lingers over his response.
Trump moved quickly to condemn accusations against Minnesota Democratic Al Franken as "really bad," but he has remained conspicuously silent on the more serious claims levelled against Roy Moore, the Republican in Alabama's special Senate race who faces allegations he sexually assaulted teenage girls decades ago.
Trump has repeatedly declined to follow Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan in calling on Moore to quit the race.Powerful winds raise California fire risk
With the nation confronting revelations of sexual impropriety by powerful men in entertainment and politics, Trump is an inconsistent as well as an unlikely critic of alleged offenders.
More than a dozen allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct were levelled against him in the waning days of the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump was caught on tape in conversation with "Access Hollywood" boasting in graphic detail of sexually harassing women.
Trump has repeatedly dismissed the allegations against him as fake news.Exiled king's remains reburied in Italy
That didn't deter Trump from scoring a blow on a reeling detractor.
Leeann Tweeden, now a Los Angeles radio host, on Thursday accused Franken of forcibly kissing and groping her during a 2006 USO tour. She released a photo showing the comedian turned senator posing in a joking manner with his hands on her chest as she naps wearing a flak vest aboard a military plane.
In a pair of tweets Thursday night, Trump spotlighted the accusations against Franken, saying the photo "speaks a thousand words."Germany cuts its migration to 200,000
Hours before the tweets appeared, Franken moved to apologise and embrace bipartisan calls for an ethics investigation into his actions.
As Trump assailed Franken, Moore was digging in, pledging to fight the accusations against him as the state GOP in Alabama reaffirmed its support for the embattled candidate. Two women have come forward by name accusing Moore of initiating sexual contact with them when they were 14 and 16, respectively.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders repeatedly declined to say whether Trump believed Moore's accusers, even after the president's daughter, Ivanka Trump, said she had no reason to doubt their claims against him.Bethlehem peace light arrives in Germany
"He thinks that the people of Alabama should make the decision on who their next senator should be," Sanders said of the president.