B3fcbygfyul3rihsge5b

Esme Cribb

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Esme

Twelve women who used to work for Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) on Sunday said the congressman “never behaved in a sexually inappropriate manner” toward them, though several ex-staffers have accused Conyers of sexual harassment and misconduct.

“Our experiences with Mr. Conyers were quite different than the image of him being portrayed in the media. Mr. Conyers was a gentleman and never behaved in a sexually inappropriate manner in our presence,” the staffers said in a statement.

The staffers said they “do not pass judgment on the specific allegations reported in the press or the women who brought them.” They also “support allowing the ethics investigation” the House committee has opened into the allegations “to run its course.”

Several former staffers last week accused Conyers of asking them for sexual favors and inappropriately touching them. Conyers has denied the accusations, but on Sunday said he will “step aside” as the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee while the House’s ethics panel investigates the allegations against him.

Read the staffers’ signed statement:

We are women whose combined tenures span over thirty years working with Congressman Conyers in Washington, D.C. in a variety of capacities, including legal, communications, and executive support positions. We do not condone or justify sexual harassment and believe the ongoing national debate is important. While we do not pass judgment on the specific allegations reported in the press or the women who brought them, our experiences with Mr. Conyers were quite different than the image of him being portrayed in the media. Mr. Conyers was a gentleman and never behaved in a sexually inappropriate manner in our presence. He was respectful, valued our opinions, challenged our thinking, and treated us as professionals. Under his leadership, we worked in an environment dedicated to the advancement of human and civil rights, including women’s rights, immigrants’ rights, voting rights, and the intellectual property rights of creators. We believe in due process and support allowing the ethics investigation to run its course.

Carol Chodroff
Carolyn Donnelly
Lillian German
Martina A. Hone
Stephanie Y. Moore
Stephanie J. Peters
Rinia L. Shelby
Christal Sheppard
B. Nicole Triplett
Teresa Vest
LaShawn Warren
Kristin Wells

Read More →

President Donald Trump has privately questioned the veracity of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, on which he bragged about groping and kissing women without their consent, according to a report published over the weekend by the New York Times.

The New York Times reported on Saturday that Trump “suggested” to a senator earlier in the year that the recording was not genuine, and more recently made the same suggestion to an adviser.

The Washington Post obtained and published the recording in October 2016. During a presidential debate, Trump denied that he ever acted on his vulgar comments about kissing and grabbing women “by the pussy.”

Multiple women accused Trump of sexual misconduct, including “attempted ‘rape’,” spanning four decades, and cited his denial as their motivation to come forward.

The outpouring of allegations against Trump was similar to those now leveled against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, whom multiple women have accused of sexual misconduct, including “assault.”

One woman, Leigh Corfman, alleged that Moore initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was 14 years old; other women have also accused Moore of sexually pursuing them when they were teenagers and he was in his early 30s.

According to the New York Times, Trump has also drawn parallels between his accusers and those coming forward with allegations against Moore.

Any questions about the recording’s authenticity would nevertheless stand in contrast to the fact that Trump is both visible and recognizable in the 2005 video, not to mention his own previous remarks on the subject.

In the hours after the tape was released, Trump released a video statement where he acknowledged that he made the recorded comments and apologized for doing so: “I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.”

Read More →

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), who several women have accused of sexual misconduct, on Sunday said he is “embarrassed and ashamed” but is “looking forward to getting back to work” in the Senate on Monday.

“I’m embarrassed and ashamed. I’ve let a lot of people down and I’m hoping I can make it up to them and gradually regain their trust,” Franken told the Star Tribune. “I’m looking forward to getting back to work tomorrow.”

Four women have accused Franken of unwanted touching and other forms of sexual harassment. Radio host Leeann Tweeden accused Franken earlier in November of forcibly kissing her and groping her while she was asleep during a USO tour in 2006. Two women told HuffPost last week, on condition of anonymity, that Franken groped them in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Lindsay Menz last week accused Franken of groping her in 2010, a year after he took office.

Franken told the Star Tribune that he has posed for “tens of thousands of photos” and does not “remember these photographs.”

“This is not something I would intentionally do,” he said.

Franken said he has been “thinking about how that could happen.”

“I just recognize that I need to be more careful and a lot more sensitive in these situations,” he told the Star Tribune.

Asked whether he expects more women to come forward with accusations, Franken said, “I certainly hope not.”

“If you had asked me two weeks ago, ‘Would any woman say I had treated her with disrespect?’ I would have said no,” he said. “So this has just caught me by surprise.”

Read More →

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), who several ex-staffers have accused of sexual harassment and misconduct, on Sunday said he will “step aside” as the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee while the chamber’s ethics panel investigates the allegations.

“After careful consideration and in light of the attention drawn by recent allegations made against me, I have notified the Democratic Leader of my request to step aside as Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee during the investigation of these matters,” Conyers said in a statement.

Conyers said he denies the accusations and “very much” looks forward to “vindicating” himself before the House Ethics Committee, which announced last week that it was opening an investigation into the accusations against Conyers.

BuzzFeed News reported last week that several former staffers of Conyers accused him of asking them for sexual favors and inappropriately touching them. Conyers admitted that he reached a settlement agreement with one former staffer who alleged she was fired after refusing his advances.

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) called last week for Conyers to resign from Congress. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Sunday declined to say whether Conyers should step down from the House.

Read More →

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Sunday declined to say whether Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), who several ex-staffers have accused of sexual harassment and misconduct, should step down under her “zero tolerance policy.”

“You said there’s now a zero tolerance,” Chuck Todd asked Pelosi on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.” “John Conyers. What does that mean for him right now? In or out?”

“We are strengthened by due process. Just because someone is accused, and was it one accusation? Is it two? I think there has to be—John Conyers is an icon in our country. He has done a great deal to protect women,” Pelosi replied.

BuzzFeed News reported last week that several former staffers of Conyers accused him of inappropriately touching them and asking them for sexual favors. Conyers denied wrongdoing, but admitted he reached a settlement agreement with a former staffer who said she was fired after refusing Conyers’ advances. The House Ethics Committee launched an investigation last week into the accusations against Conyers.

“I believe he will do the right thing,” Pelosi said on Sunday.

“And is the right thing what? Resign?” Todd asked.

“He will do the right thing in terms of what he knows about his situation,” Pelosi said. “He’s entitled to due process. But women are entitled to due process as well.”

She claimed that Conyers’ accusers “have not really come forward” and said she doesn’t “know who they are.”

“So you don’t know if you believe the accusations?” Todd said.

“Well, that’s for the Ethics Committee to review,” Pelosi said.

Read More →

Sen. John Thune (R-SD) on Sunday said he “would like to see” President Donald Trump push Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore to withdraw from the race amid numerous accusations of sexual misconduct, including assault.

“I would like to see the President, Chris, come out and support what many of us have said, and that is that Roy Moore needs to step aside, allow somebody else to be a write-in candidate, we can win that seat,” Thune said on “Fox News Sunday” to the show’s host Chris Wallace.

Trump, who has his own decades-long history of sexual misconduct allegations, doubled down on his support for Moore, and his criticism of Moore’s opponent, Democratic candidate Doug Jones, on Sunday.

Thune said that if Moore wins his race “there’s going to immediately be an ethics investigation which is going to be a cloud that he’ll be operating in.”

“It’s going to be a distraction for us and for our agenda,” he said. “So, you know, ultimately the decision is up to the people of Alabama, but it strikes me at least that it would be in their best interest and in the country’s best interest and certainly the best interest of our agenda if the President would use his influence to try to get Roy Moore to step aside.”

He said Trump “can speak for himself” but can also “use his influence and do what he can to get Moore to step aside.”

Read More →

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) on Sunday said he wants to be “on the side of right when history writes the story” about Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who multiple women have accused of sexual misconduct.

“It is pretty clear to me that the best thing that Roy Moore can do for the country is to move on,” Scott said on ABC News’ “This Week.”

He said the allegations against Moore “are still very strong and credible, and the denial has been weak.”

“In my opinion, and in the opinion of many Republicans and conservatives in the Senate, it is time for us to turn the page, because it is not about partisan politics,” Scott said. “It is not about electing Republicans versus Democrats. This is about the character of our country. I want to be on the side of right when history writes the story.”

“So is President Trump on the side of wrong?” ABC News’ Martha Raddatz asked, referring to Trump’s tacit endorsement of Moore. The President, who has his own long history of misconduct allegations, doubled down on that endorsement Sunday morning.

“Well, the President will have to make his own decisions on where he thinks he is and why he’s there,” Scott said. “Partisan politics is very important in Washington.”

Asked whether he thinks Trump’s moral authority is compromised because of his continued support for Moore, Scott said, “Certainly I don’t think so.”

“I think there are many Americans that disagree with me vehemently. I don’t necessarily understand how, but they do,” he said. “When Americans disagree with me, whether that’s the President or other folks, it doesn’t change my opinion, but I’m certainly unable to change theirs.”

Read More →

President Donald Trump on Saturday and Sunday tweeted support for his favorite cable news network and criticism of Alabama Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones, the opponent of Republican candidate Roy Moore, who numerous women have accused of sexual misconduct and assault.

Trump on Saturday claimed that Fox News “is MUCH more important in the United States than CNN” and claimed “CNN International is still a major source of (Fake) news, and they represent our Nation to the WORLD very poorly.”

His criticism came after the Department of Justice filed a complaint to block a merger between AT&T and Time Warner, CNN’s parent company.

He also doubled down on his support for Moore in the form of criticism of Jones, who he called “WEAK on Crime, WEAK on the Border, Bad for our Military and our great Vets, Bad for our 2nd Amendment, AND WANTS TO RAISES (sic) TAXES TO THE SKY.”

Numerous women have accused Moore of sexual misconduct. Moore has denied the accusations.

Read More →

Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore’s communications director resigned last week amid sexual misconduct allegations numerous women made against Moore, just over a month before the election.

“John Rogers served as communications director for the Roy Moore for U.S. Senate campaign for the last several weeks and we appreciate his valuable contributions to our team,” Moore’s campaign chairman Bill Armistead said in a statement to TPM on Wednesday.

Armistead said that “campaigns make changes throughout the duration of the campaign, as do those working in the campaign.”

“John made the decision to leave the campaign last Friday — any representations to the contrary are false — and we wish him well,” Armistead said.

Rogers confirmed to the Washingtonian by phone that he has resigned from Moore’s campaign, but declined to provide further comment. He did not respond to TPM’s requests for comment.

Numerous women have accused Moore of sexual misconduct, harassment and assault, and elected Republicans—with one notable exception—have called for Moore to drop out of the race.

The exception is President Donald Trump, who has four decades’ worth of sexual misconduct allegations to his own name, and who made it clear on Tuesday that he stands by his endorsement of Moore: “We don’t need a liberal Democrat in that seat.”

Moore has denied any wrongdoing and has painted the allegations against him as a media smear campaign.

Read More →

LiveWire