Nancy Pelosi, the most powerful woman in Congress and likely all of the Democratic Party, said on Thursday that she hasn’t spent any time thinking about the most recent rape allegation made against the president.
Asked what Congress should do, if anything, about E. Jean Carroll’s allegation that Donald Trump assaulted her in 1996 in the dressing room of a department store in New York City, Pelosi looked completely caught off-guard and immediately started fumbling through an answer. Her long-winded response eventually oscillated between a couple of ideas, including how she was very busy with what is an admittedly urgent crisis unfolding in the border camps and how Republicans are the ones who should be answering for Trump’s alleged crimes. She didn’t even seem to know who Carroll was in the first place.
Here’s a bit of the House Speaker’s response, captured by Vox reporter Aaron Rupar (you can watch the full thing on C-SPAN, starting around the 19:30 mark):
This is embarrassing at best:
My gosh, we’re so immersed in what’s happening in Iran, what’s happening at our border, so many policy issues that we have responsibility for, including keeping our elections safe today, as well as protecting the children to the best of our ability, I haven’t spent any time on that and I just am not—I don’t know the people you’re referencing, I don’t know the person making the accusation... I just am not, I haven’t paid that much attention to it.
She goes on like this, and then offers up something about how reporters should ask Republicans instead:
But in any of these things, this is not about what Congress would do, this is about what the president’s own Party would do, you’d really have to ask them. I’m worried about children not being in their mother’s arms because of policies that we may have.
It really seems like it’s possible to care about the violence being committed against immigrant children and families in addition to the fact that the president has been credibly accused of sexual assault and misconduct by at least 22 women. It’s really not too much to ask.
Correction: A previous version of this story stated that the president had been accused of rape by 24 women. The piece has been updated to reflect that there are at least 22 women who have come forward with credible allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against Donald Trump.