On Saturday while boarding Marine One, reporters asked President Trump to comment upon allegations against Harvey Weinstein that dropped late last week. Those accusations — published in an exposé by the New York Times — put decades of whispers into print while detailing eight settlements reached by Weinstein with women who accused him of sexual harassment. In the above clip, Trump’s thoughts on the Hollywood studio executive bookend his own insistence that Chief of Staff John Kelly is going nowhere, an assertion that receives a lot more lip service. However, Trump began, “I’ve known Harvey Weinstein for a long time … I’m not at all surprised to see it.”
At the end of the clip, Trump distanced himself (specifically, his own lewd comments about women on an Access Hollywood hot mic) from Weinstein’s situation. When prodded by a reporter, Trump said of his previous comments, “That’s locker room. That’s locker room.” Still, those comments, which played on a loop near the White House on Friday while Trump dismantled the Obamacare birth-control mandate for employers, won’t be forgotten.
Meanwhile, reports of Weinstein’s alleged behavior have reached disturbing heights this weekend with a TV reporter accusing him of forcing her to watch him masturbate. Following the NY Times exposé, Weinstein took a leave of absence from the Weinstein Company before his advisor, Lisa Bloom (who, curiously, also represented multiple women who accused Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment), stepped down from her own post.
As CBS News points out, the distancing from Weinstein not only includes Trump but forms a bipartisan effort. Over the years, the studio head has almost exclusively donated to Democrats. Now, Senators Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Chuck Schumer, Martin Heinrich, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Patrick Leahy have all vowed to donate Weinstein’s previous contributions to organizations who help women recover from sexual assault and violence.
For his part, Weinstein took a swipe at Trump while defending himself in a letter. Not only did he make up a Jay-Z quote, but as CBS News reports, Weinstein wrote, “I’m making a movie about our president, perhaps we can make it a joint retirement party.” Well, Trump’s locker room talk may have sank Billy Bush’s career, but so far, his attorneys have been able to postpone a pending lawsuit from a former Apprentice contestant who accused Trump of sexually harassing her in 2007. In other words, this current controversy will remain all about Weinstein.