Democratic leader in the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has blamed the election of Donald Trump for the growing wave of sexual misconduct allegations against powerful men in entertainment, business and politics.
“Harvey [Weinstein] didn’t evoke this. The election of President Trump evoked what happened to Harvey and now everybody is served notice,” Pelosi told NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday.
During last year’s presidential election, tapes emerged in which Trump boasted about sexually assaulting women. Trump dismissed the 2005 tape, first released by The Washington Post, as “locker-room banter.”
At least two dozen women have since come forward accusing Trump of inappropriate sexual behavior.
The recent wave of sexual scandals began when Weinstein, a leading Hollywood producer, was hit with allegations of sexual harassment, assault or rape. Police are investigating multiple cases in the US and abroad.
The Trump tape has also received renewed attention as an increasing number of politicians in both parties face allegations of sexual misconduct.
At the center of the controversy is Roy Moore, an ousted Alabama judge who is running for the state’s Senate. Senior Republicans have called on Moore to step aside following allegations that he preyed on teenage girls.
Moore denies the allegations and has shown no indication he will quit the race.
Trump, however, has stood by Moore, warning voters not to vote for his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones. “Jones would be a disaster!” the president tweeted on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Pelosi was criticized on Sunday for not taking a strong stance on allegations against Democratic congressman John Conyers, who is accused of using taxpayer money to settle cases with women who have accused him of sexual misconduct.
Pelosi called Conyers, who is heralded for his work in the civil rights movement, an “icon,” adding she trusted the Michigan representative to do what was right after a congressional investigation was complete.
Subsequently, Conyers, 88, stepped down as the top Democrat in the House Judiciary Committee.