President Trump spent Tuesday morning tweeting disparaging remarks about several women, including those who have accused him of sexual harassment and a US senator who has called for his resignation amid those claims.
Trump started with an attack on the women who accused him of sexual harassment, who came forward during the 2016 election. Three went on a national media blitz on Monday to bring new attention to their accusations, and another appeared on Megyn Kelly Today on Tuesday.
Many people — including reporters who cover Trump — were quick to point out how unlikely it is that Trump doesn't know or never met the women:
And People magazine tweeted a photo showing Trump with former correspondent Natasha Stoynoff, who has said he forcefully kissed her as she was at Mar-a-Lago to conduct an interview.
Trump has said on a hot microphone that he likes to grab women "by the pussy" and said on the radio that he liked to walk in on his beauty pageant contestants while they were getting dressed. (Trump said his hot mic remarks were "locker room talk" and the White House has called the women liars.)
Trump also fired off a tweet laced with sexual innuendo against Democratic US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who called on Trump to resign after the women spoke out on Monday.
Trump claimed Gillibrand would "come to my office 'begging' for campaign contributions" and "would do anything for them."
Gillibrand responded, "You cannot silence me."
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump's tweet, saying it was about his long-held promise to "drain the swamp" in Washington of corrupt politicians.
"There is no way that this is sexist at all," Sanders said in response to a question from a reporter at the daily White House press briefing. "This is simply talking about a system that we have that is broken, in which special interests control our government. And I don't think that there is probably many people that are more controlled by political contributions than the senator that the president referenced."
Trump's lashing out comes as his treatment of and views on women are again in the national spotlight. He's also endorsed Alabama US Senate candidate Roy Moore, who is accused of sexual assault and molesting a young teenager — that election is tonight.
Trump again tweeted his support for Moore on Tuesday morning:
And Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat, called Trump's words "disgusting."
"I think only if your mind is in the gutter would you have read it that way," Sanders said.
In response to a question of whether there should be a congressional investigation into the women's accusations, Sanders said the administration was more interested in focusing on issues important to the American people.
"The president has answered these questions," she said. "He has spoken to these accusations. And denied and pushed that they are all false and fabricated accusations."
Trump was given an opportunity to respond after signing the National Defense Authorization Act, when CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta asked, "What did you mean when you said Kirsten Gillibrand would do anything for a campaign contribution?"
Trump walked out without answering:
Acosta later said that Sanders told him not long before "he might never again be allowed in a press pool event if he asked a question" — he did anyway.
Four of the women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct also responded to his tweets on Tuesday.
In a statement, Rachel Crooks, Lisa Boyne, Samantha Holvey, and Melinda McGillivray said Trump's denials were false.
"It is exactly what we have come to expect from a man who has repeatedly demonstrated his disregard and disdain for women, and the truth," the statement said.
"The best way for Americans to know the truth about our claims, and those made by other women abused by President Trump, is an independent investigation by Congress, the Department of Justice or another credible party. 70% of Americans agree that our claims should be investigated. If President Trump is so confident about his claims, he should also support a move to investigate and air the facts.
"The post-Weinstein era of accountability, and the rise of the #MeToo movement, give us hope that our society is changing for the better. President Trump has thus far avoided accountability for his long-running sexual misconduct. That changes now."