By MICHAEL D. SHEAR and EMILY COCHRANE
© 2017 New York Times News Service
WASHINGTON — Nikki R. Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said Sunday that women who have accused President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct “should be heard,” a break from the administration’s long-standing assertion that the allegations are false and that voters rightly dismissed them when they elected Trump.
“They should be heard, and they should be dealt with,” Haley said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “And I think we heard from them prior to the election. And I think any woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way, they have every right to speak up.”
Her remarks are the latest indication that the president’s behavior toward women — more than a dozen have accused him of unwanted touching, forcible kissing or groping — may not escape renewed scrutiny when an array of powerful men have had their careers derailed because of their improper treatment of women.
The #MeToo movement has engulfed prominent members of both political parties. Democrats have appeared determined to grab the moral and political high ground, largely forcing their accused party members to resign. Republicans have been more divided: Even as some accused members have stepped down, the party has largely stood by Trump. And it remains split over how to respond to the case of Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama who has been accused of molesting an underage girl and attempting to date other teenagers when he was in his 30s.
Some of the women who first accused Trump during the campaign last year have expressed a renewed desire to press their case. So far, though, the upheaval in societal norms about sexual conduct in the workplace has swirled around the president, but left him largely unscathed.
Trump has denied all of the women’s accusations, calling them “made-up stuff” and “totally fake news.”