Me­la­nia: Women who ac­cuse men need ev­i­dence

Taranaki Daily News - - World -

Women who make ac­cu­sa­tions of sex­ual abuse against men should back their claims with solid ev­i­dence, ac­cord­ing to Me­la­nia Trump.

The US first lady, whose hus­band has faced al­le­ga­tions of in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour, said she stood with women who came for­ward but that men should also have a chance to be heard.

‘‘I sup­port the women, and they need to be heard,’’ she said in a rare solo in­ter­view. ‘‘We need to sup­port them, and also men, not just women.’’

Me­la­nia Trump en­tered the fray at a piv­otal mo­ment, days after her hus­band won a bruis­ing bat­tle to in­stall judge Brett Ka­vanaugh on the Supreme Court de­spite al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual as­sault.

Both Ka­vanaugh and Trump have both de­nied all the ac­cu­sa­tions made against them.

At the same time, the pres­i­dent is step­ping up his at­tacks on Democrats ahead of next month’s midterm elec­tions. He used a USA To­day ar­ti­cle yes­ter­day to crit­i­cise their health­care plans, ac­cus­ing them of pur­su­ing Venezuela-style so­cial­ism.

But it is the #MeToo move­ment that ap­pears to be gal­vanis­ing his Repub­li­can sup­port­ers, as they ac­cuse Democrats of fab­ri­cat­ing the claims against Ka­vanaugh for po­lit­i­cal rea­sons.

In a rare in­ter­view, to be broad­cast to­day in full by the US tele­vi­sion net­work ABC, Me­la­nia Trump said women had a re­spon­si­bil­ity to back ac­cu­sa­tions with ev­i­dence. ‘‘I do stand with women, but we need to show the ev­i­dence,’’ she said. ‘‘You can­not just say to some­body, I was sex­u­ally as­saulted, or you did that to me, be­cause some­times the me­dia goes too far.’’

Trump also re­vealed how Amer­ica’s po­larised po­lit­i­cal cli­mate was af­fect­ing her ef­forts to pro­mote good causes. She

‘‘You can­not just say to some­body, I was sex­u­ally as­saulted, or you did that to me, be­cause some­times the me­dia goes too far.’’ Me­la­nia Trump

said sev­eral or­gan­i­sa­tions had re­fused her in­vi­ta­tions to work to­gether, de­ci­sions she as­cribed to at­ti­tudes to­wards her hus­band’s ad­min­is­tra­tion. ‘‘I feel like they’re choos­ing the pol­i­tics over help­ing oth­ers,’’ she said. ‘‘I don’t want to put them out in front of the world, but they know who they are.’’

Mean­while, Don­ald Trump used a news­pa­per ar­ti­cle to paint his Demo­cratic op­po­nents as extremists whose plans threaten the pro­vi­sion of health­care to Amer­ica’s se­nior cit­i­zens. ‘‘The truth is the cen­trist Demo­cratic Party is dead,’’ he wrote. ‘‘The new Democrats are rad­i­cal so­cial­ists who want to model Amer­ica’s econ­omy after Venezuela.’’

Trump fo­cused on plans to ex­pand Medi­care – the na­tional health in­sur­ance pro­gramme for Amer­i­cans aged over 65 – which he said would bring ra­tioning and hospi­tal clo­sures.

‘‘The Democrats’ plan means that after a life of hard work and sac­ri­fice, se­niors would no longer be able to de­pend on the ben­e­fits they were promised,’’ he claimed.

How­ever, health pol­icy an­a­lysts said the pres­i­dent’s warn­ing to se­nior cit­i­zens lacked ev­i­dence.

Tri­cia Neu­man, who stud­ies Medi­care at the Kaiser Fam­ily Foun­da­tion non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion, said: ‘‘If true, that would be a se­ri­ous con­cern for se­niors, but it’s not clear how that would hap­pen.’’ – Tele­graph Group

AP

US first lady Me­la­nia Trump vis­its the an­cient statue of Sphinx at the Giza Pyra­mids site near Cairo dur­ing her tour of Africa.

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