Trump says he was 'never a fan' of Harvey Weinstein despite photo of them together and uses the producer's rape conviction to attack Democrats
- While on a visit to India, President Donald Trump reacted to to Harvey Weinstein's conviction by saying he wasn't a fan of the former film mogul, despite being photographed with him at least once.
- The president said that he thinks the verdict "was a great thing" for women, and "sends a very strong message."
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Asked to respond to Harvey Weinstein's convicton on two felony sex crimes, President Donald Trump used the news to attack the Democratic Party and claimed that he did not know the disgraced Hollywood mogul.
"I was never a fan of Harvey Weinstein as you know," Trump told reporters at a briefing on Tuesday. "In fact, he said he was going to work hard to defeat me in the election. How did that work out by the way? I'm trying to figure that out."
Trump said he didn't know the trial's "actual results" and was not following the case due to his obligations in India, where he is currently in the midst of a state visit. But he distanced himself from Weinstein, who he and his wife, Melania Trump, were photographed alongisde in 2009 at an afterparty for the producer's film, "Nine."
"I was just not a fan of his," Trump said. "I knew him a little bit, not very well, I knew him because I was in New York. Not a person that I like."
On Monday, a jury found Weinstein guilty of rape, and a criminal sexual act. He was acquitted on three other counts, incuding the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault. Weinstein was a well-known Democratic Party benefactor before 2017 investigations by the New York Times and the New Yorker revealed his decades-long history of sexual assault, coercion, and misconduct, sparking the #MeToo movement.
"I will say, the people that liked him are the Democrats," Trump continued on Tuesday "Michelle Obama loved him, loved him. Hillary Clinton loved him. And he gave tremendous money to the Democrats and the question is, will the Democrats be asking for that money back? Because he gave a lot of money to the Democrats. And its too bad but that's the way it works."
In an interview in Berlin on Tuesday as part of promotion for new a documentary series "Hillary," Clinton herself acknowledged that Weinstein "contributed to every Democrat's campaign - he contributed to Barack Obama's campaign, John Kerry's campaign, Al Gore's campaign, everyone's campaign."
"I don't know whether that should chill anyone else from contributing to political campaigns but it should certainly end the kind of behavior for which he was convicted for," Clinton said, according to Variety.
In January, she told the Hollywood Reporter that "if all of us had known what we know now, it would have affected our behavior."
The president, who himself has been accused numerous times of sexual misconduct, did not comment on the MeToo movement or the verdict's greater implications until a reporter asked him, "What message can you as president delivery to women in America who are still afraid to come forward and share their stories of sexual harassment and assault?"
"Well, again don't know the actual results," Trump said. "I haven't seen too much because I've been in India as you know."
"I think from the standpoint of women I think it was a great thing, it was a great victory, and sends a very strong message, very very strong message," he said.
More than 20 women have accused president Trump of sexual misconduct or assault over the years, including the writer E. Jean Carroll, who alleged in a book excerpt published in June 2019 that Trump had assaulted her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room over 2 decades ago. Trump denied the allegations, saying she was "totally lying" and "not my type."
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