ABC News’ “The View” co-hosts pounced on first lady Melania Trump for her recent comments supporting due process amid the #MeToo movement frenzy and warning of the dangers of false sexual assault allegations.
“Also, this woman, she has an orange horse in the race,” said guest co-host Yvette Nicole Brown (pictured above center), who was standing in for Joy Behar, apparently referencing President Donald Trump. “And her orange horse has been accused credibly by at least 17 women.”
“I’ve chosen not to care about anything [Melania Trump] says from now on — what she wears, what she does, what she says,” Brown added. “She is not the woman to say anything to me or any other woman about #MeToo, Time’s Up, Black Lives Matter. I’m not listening to her about anything she has to say.”
Melania Trump told ABC News in portions of an interview that aired Wednesday that “a high enough bar has not always been applied to judging accusations of sexual misconduct.”
“I do stand with women, but we need to show the evidence … You cannot just say to somebody, ‘I was sexually assaulted,’ or ‘You did that to me.'”
“You need to have really hard evidence — that if you accuse [someone] of something, show the evidence,” Melania Trump said. “I do stand with women, but we need to show the evidence … You cannot just say to somebody, ‘I was sexually assaulted,’ or ‘You did that to me.'”
Melania Trump added: “I support the women and they need to be heard. We need to support them, and also men, not just women … Sometimes the media goes too far in the way they portray some stories. It’s not correct. It’s not right.”
“So, the message, is the message is it’s the media’s fault? What’s the message?” Co-host Whoopi Goldberg (above left) asked.
Co-host Sunny Hostin (above right) ripped the first lady, saying that it was once “very difficult for women to bring sexual assault cases because the law was different.”
“After 40 years, we’ve finally changed the law. We finally said a woman’s word is enough. I’ve taken many cases to trial with just a woman’s word,” Hostin said. “And now you have the first lady of the United States telling women everywhere your word is not enough? I think it does so much damage, and quite frankly, that isn’t the law.”
“You don’t need corroboration,” Hostin insisted.
Conservative co-hosts Meghan McCain and Abby Huntsman pushed back, however.
“There’s a lot of gray in this issue with a lot of this, and I do think, I believe in the Constitution. I believe in due process. I do believe in the presumption of innocence over guilt,” McCain said.
Huntsman said, “I’m all for every single woman needs to be heard because more often than not women are correct. But Sunny, you are insinuating that evidence doesn’t matter, and as a lawyer, evidence should always matter.”
Hostin shot back, “Testimony is evidence. You don’t need corroborating evidence. You don’t need a rape kit. You don’t need witnesses because oftentimes, guess what? There are no witnesses during rape. When you’re talking about evidence, testimonial evidence is the very best in the system.”
When Huntsman pressed Hostin, asking, “Have you ever known someone to be falsely accused of something?” Hostin admitted, “I will say between 2 percent and 8 percent of rape assault, alleged accusations, are false.”
McCain noted, “For me to even be sitting here saying this, it’s very nuclear for Abby and I to sit here and even push back because all of a sudden everyone is going to say, ‘You’re somehow okay with assault. You’re somehow okay with rape.'”
Issues of due process, innocent until proven guilty, and false accusations came to the forefront of national discourse during Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s turbulent confirmation process, which was derailed in mid-September after allegations were made by three women about sexual assaults that were claimed to have occurred nearly four decades ago.
Kavanaugh, who was confirmed in the Senate Saturday and took his place on the bench this week, denied all of the accusations against him. None of the witnesses the three women said would verify their claims did so.