Trading barbs with President Donald Trump via Twitter on Tuesday, women Democrats demanded that Congress investigate past claims of sexual misconduct leveled against the President during the 2016 campaign, as several lawmakers took the extra step of asking for Mr. Trump’s resignation.
“President Trump should resign. But, of course, he won’t hold himself accountable,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who has emerged as the leader of efforts to pressure the President on the issue of past allegations.
Mr. Trump lobbed a Twitter barb directly at the New York Democrat on Tuesday morning, labeling her a “lightweight” and “total flunky.”
Gillibrand answered back, saying her voice would not be shut down by the President.
And she was joined by other Democrats as well, in calling for the stories about the President to get more of a public airing.
A day after the White House turned aside questions about past claims made by women against the President, Mr. Trump directly addressed the matter, saying that it was all “FAKE NEWS,” calling the charges against him nothing more than ‘false accusations and fabricated stories.’
At a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, a group of House Democratic women asked Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), the head of the House Oversight committee, to investigate the accusations against Mr. Trump.
“At least 17 women have publicly accused the President of sexual misconduct,” the letter to Gowdy stated.
“The President’s own remarks appear to back up the allegations,” the letter continued. “The President has boasted in public and in crude terms that he feels at liberty to perpetrate such conduct against women.”
“The ‘Me-Too’ movement has arrived,” said Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL). “Victims must be heard, perpetrators must be held accountable.”
At a news conference, Frankel said the letter – which originally had 58 signatures – had swiftly jumped to over 100 in all.
“Americans deserve the truth,” Frankel told reporters.
While the Democratic women were in the spotlight, some of their male colleagues also chimed in with calls for a more thorough review of the accusations against Mr. Trump.
“If you called for Franken to step down, don’t you also have to say it is the right thing for the President to resign?” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) on CNN.
At the White House, the call for a Congressional review got no traction.
“If Congress wants to investigate something, I think they should look at some of the priorities of the people they represent,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Sanders also denied that Mr. Trump’s tweet – in which he said Sen. Gillibrand ‘would do anything’ to get campaign contributions – was in any way a sexist remark.
Pressed further on whether there was any kind of sexual innuendo in the President’s tweet, Sanders flatly rejected the idea.
“I think only if your mind was in the gutter would you have read it that way,” Sanders said.