Is Mark Cuban a Liar, or Just Morally Bankrupt?


mark cubanBillionaire entrepreneur and Hillary Clinton supporter Mark Cuban added more fuel to the still-burning controversy over Donald Trump‘s alleged sexual assault of multiple women Tuesday, telling CNN’s Don Lemon that he personally knew women who had been assaulted by Trump.

“Have you ever heard anything like these women coming forward…?” Lemon began to ask.

“Yes,” Cuban responded immediately, “and I know one, and it just didn’t happen recently. My friend reminded me and it was from 2000 and she — you know, I don’t expect her to come forward. I wouldn’t recommend she come forward. I know somebody else from two years ago that won’t come forward. So, you know, it’s not anything that caught me by surprise.”

Given the flood of women making similar accusations, Cuban’s story is of course very believable. But here’s what confuses me: as late as a year ago, Cuban was singing Trump’s praises and flirting with endorsing him instead of Clinton:

“I don’t care what his actual positions are,” Cuban wrote. “I don’t care if he says the wrong thing. He says what’s on his mind. He gives honest answers rather than prepared answers. This is more important than anything any candidate has done in years.”

“Up until Trump announced his candidacy the conventional wisdom was that you had to be a professional politician in order to run,” Cuban continued. “You had to have a background that was politically scrubbed. In other words, smart people who didn’t live perfect lives could never run. Smart people who didn’t want their families put under the media spotlight wouldn’t run. The Donald is changing all of that. He has changed the game and for that he deserves a lot of credit.

“Now maybe we will accept candidates warts and all and look at what they can do rather than what headlines they create,” Cuban concluded. “Congrats Donald.”

So Cuban apparently congratulated, praised to high heaven, and gave “a lot of credit” to man who he knew had committed two sexual assaults, including one only a year earlier. He even said he would consider being vice president to a man who he supposedly knew for a fact was a perennial assailant.

Just a month ago, Cuban told Fox News’ Eric Bolling that he was initially excited about Trump, but decided not to back him because he “made no effort to learn.” That was his problem with Trump? Not, you know, the alleged rapes?

That leaves us with only two unappealing portraits of Cuban: either he’s a liar now, or was completely morally bankrupt then.

Even after Cuban endorsed Clinton and became Trump-troller-in-chief, Cuban has apparently sat on his bombshell throughout multiple interviews and speeches on Clinton’s behalf over the course of an entire year. Heck, he only brought it up in the CNN interview because Lemon specifically asked him if he had heard of any other Trump assaults. We’re left with the impression that if Lemon had asked about the weather instead, Cuban would have kept his secret to the grave.

And of course, this all ignoring the decade-long relationship between the men (Cuban told Lemon they weren’t “best friends” but were “more than acquaintances”), during which Cuban apparently knew that an assault had occurred in 2000. Forget going public with it, why willingly choose to associate with a man like that?

It should be evident by now that I’m leaning towards the explanation that Cuban is simply lying, Harry Reid-style. But what’s worse is I think there’s a chance he could be telling the truth. Do we really think that Billy Bush was the only person in the entertainment industry to get an earful from Trump about his sexual predation? Do we think that NBC was honestly unaware of what Trump was getting up to on The Apprentice set? Or is more likely than dozens, if not hundreds, of celebrities and industry-types knew exactly what Trump was and kept silent, just as they did for Bill Cosby and Roger Ailes?

So we’re left with two possibilities. Maybe Mark Cuban hobnobbed and laughed with and publicly praised a man he knew was a alleged sexual predator. Maybe he falsely accused a man of sexual assault in an attempt to manipulate the result of the presidential election. Neither explanation is particularly flattering.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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