At the first Republican presidential debate last night, moderator Megyn Kelly pointedly asked Donald Trump to explain comments he’s made about women. Here is the exchange:
“One of the things people love about you is you speak your mind and don’t use a politician’s filter,” Kelly said. “However, that is not without its downsides, in particular, when it comes to women. You’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.”
Trump interrupted: “Only Rosie O’Donnell.” The audience cheered.
“No it wasn’t,” Kelly replied, continuing, “For the record, it was well beyond Rosie O’Donnell.”
Trump replied, “Yes, I’m sure it was.”
“Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women’s looks,” continued Kelly. “You once told a contestant on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton, who is likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women?”
In his response, which centered around his disdain for political correctness, Trump said much of what he says is “fun, it’s kidding, we have a good time.”
The debate moved on without a resolution on the issue. So what did Trump actually say, and to whom?
The Trump-O’Donnell feud:
Trump has expressed particular disdain for O’Donnell since they began a war of words in 2006. O’Donnell called out Trump for not booting a Miss USA who failed a drug test, and Trump responded by saying, “I’ll most likely sue her for making those false statements – and it’ll be fun. Rosie’s a loser. A real loser. I look forward to taking lots of money from my nice fat little Rosie.”
The comment on “The Celebrity Apprentice”:
Kelly mentioned a time when Trump allegedly told a contestant on his reality TV show that she’d look good on her knees. According to a VH1 article on the March 2013 episode in question, former Playboy Playmate Brande Roderick said she got down on her knees to beg to be a part of something. Trump asks, “Excuse me, you DROPPED to your knees?”
Roderick says, “Yes.”
Trump pauses and says, “It must be a pretty picture. You dropping to your knees.”
Arianna Huffington is “unattractive”:
In 2012, Trump tweeted this at the founder of The Huffington Post news website:
.@ariannahuff is unattractive both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man- he made a good decision.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2012
A breastfeeding lawyer is “disgusting”:
In a recent New York Times article regarding his comments during a deposition, Trump called opposing counsel “disgusting” for asking for a break to pump breast milk for her infant daughter.
Megyn Kelly’s a “bimbo”:
Kelly’s question didn’t appear to slow Trump down; a few hours later, Trump tweeted out many comments about the debate and how he felt attacked unfairly by all three moderators, and chose to retweet someone who called Kelly a “bimbo”:
To be fair, Trump has less-than-flattering opinions on many men, including Mark Cuban, Dick Cheney, and Jon Stewart, among others.