The White House is still dealing with the fallout over the Rob Porter domestic abuse scandal, especially since President Donald Trump defended the ex-White House staffer and noted that Porter “says he’s innocent” of allegations he abused his ex-wives. It has also been reported that 30 to 40 other White House aides are still waiting on getting security clearances, raising questions about what’s in their pasts.
During today’s broadcast of HLN’s S.E. Cupp Unfiltered, the titular host battled it out with Trump-supporting CNN political commentator Jack Kingston over the question of whether women can feel safe in the White House. And Cupp didn’t pull any punches in the spirited segment.
Kingston started the back and forth by noting women should feel protected despite the number of folks walking the halls without being cleared by the FBI because Kellyanne Conway has a senior position there.
“Okay. John Kelly is higher than all of those women,” Cupp retorted. “So why would women feel safe working for John Kelly who covered for his friend, Rob Porter?”
Kingston responded by stating that women he’s spoken to at the White House all say they feel “extremely comfortable.” He added that he thought criticism was valid over the issues of background checks but that there are female leaders in the Trump admin, namedropping Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
“Has Elaine Chao released a statement about Rob Porter and this situation in which she said that this should not be tolerated and I will stand with any woman who has any issues with how they are being treated in the White House?” Cupp shot back.
After Kingston said he couldn’t confirm one way or the other whether she has but that it may not have been suggested to her, Cupp interjected to state that he had just called Chao “a very strong woman leader” and that she “doesn’t need a suggestion to do it.”
The passionate exchange ended on Trump’s tendency to side with men who have been accused of misconduct and violent behavior with women.
“He does send that message of sympathy,” the HLN host noted. “He’s definitely capable of empathizing. He’s just empathizing with the accused, not the right people.”
Kingston explained that when it came to Roy Moore, Trump initially backed Luther Strange in the Alabama Senate race and only endorsed Moore because of the binary nature of the election. He then concluded by saying abusers tend to have a Jekyll and Hyde facade, making it difficult to know they are bad people.
“I guess the president has been charmed by a great number of perpetrators,” Cupp replied, ending the debate.
Watch the clip above, via HLN.
[image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org