The White House on Friday rejected comparisons between President Trump and Democratic Sen. Al Franken, both of whom have been accused of sexual misconduct, saying the difference between the two is Trump denied the claims made by more than a dozen women and went on to become president.
At the White House press briefing, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to a question posed by a reporter over whether it would be fair to investigate the allegations against Trump after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans called for an investigation into Franken, who was accused of groping a woman without her consent.
Sanders said the president had already addressed the allegations against him during the campaign.
"The American people, I think, spoke very loud and clear when they elected this president," she said.
Sanders said that Trump should not be investigated because "in one case specifically, Sen. Franken admitted wrongdoing, and the president hasn't."
"I think that's a very clear distinction," she said.
Trump himself has faced allegations from more than a dozen women who have accused him of unwanted sexual advances. Most notably, during a 2005 Access Hollywood appearance Trump told former host Billy Bush: "When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything," including "grab 'em by the pussy."
Trump, who has not explicitly addressed the allegations of sexual misconduct against Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate for Alabama, slammed Franken in tweets Thursday night, calling him "Al Frankenstien."
Franken has apologized for his actions and said he would "gladly cooperate" with an ethics investigation.
Last month, Sanders said the official White House position was that all the women who have accused Trump of sexual harassment are lying.
Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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