Equally swift was the response from allies of President Trump, a longtime nemesis of the attorney general. While the president himself had not weighed in on the news as of early Tuesday morning, numerous Trump supporters from within and outside the White House reveled in Schneiderman’s resignation. The attorney general became the latest powerful figure to fall from grace amid the #MeToo movement, and among the most high profile of Trump’s political enemies to be accused of misconduct.
Four women accused Schneiderman of choking and repeatedly slapping them during romantic relationships, charges that the attorney general denied. Schneiderman has been a vocal opponent of Trump, pursuing a series of legal actions against his policies as president, and filing numerous lawsuits against his enterprises long before he took office. He has also been one of Trump’s favorite targets.
Conservative commentators and vocal Trump supporters gleefully pointed out social media posts in which Schneiderman advocated for victims of sexual abuse or accusers of disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein — tweets they described as hypocritical.
Meanwhile, critics of Trump fired back at those who were quick to condemn Schneiderman while defending a president accused by more than a dozen women of improper conduct or sexual assault. While Trump has chided Democrats accused of misconduct, such as former senator Al Franken (D-Minn.), he has given a pass to accused Republicans and allies, including former Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama and former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.
Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, and one of the president’s sons, Donald Trump Jr., both shared a tweet posted by Schneiderman in October of last year. “No one is above the law, and I’ll continue to remind President Trump and his administration of that fact everyday,” Schneiderman wrote in the tweet.
“Gotcha,” Kellyanne Conway wrote in response.
“You were saying???” Trump Jr. wrote in response.
The president’s son continued to lash out at Schneiderman on Twitter throughout the evening. He shared a tweet from last month in which Schneiderman congratulated the New Yorker and the New York Times for their Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and “the brave women and men who spoke up about the sexual harassment they endured at the hands of powerful men.”
“Self awareness level: 0,” Trump Jr. tweeted. “Or substantially less than that.”
Echoing his father’s tweets about Schneiderman from previous years, Trump Jr. mocked the attorney general’s “excessive use of eyeliner.”
He posted a tweet from the attorney general last September in which Schneiderman wrote: “Sexual assault survivors, what happened to you is unconscionable. We have your back and we are fighting for you.”
“This didn’t age well,” Trump Jr. wrote. Dana Loesch, the NRA’s spokeswoman, also shared the tweet, saying, “Literally fighting women is not the same as fighting FOR women”
Several Trump supporters posted photographs on social media of Schneiderman with Hillary Clinton, while some right-wing media outlets highlighted the cooperation between Schneiderman’s office and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. (The attorney general’s office helped Mueller’s team investigate Paul Manafort and his financial transactions last August.)
Scores of commentators and White House allies also eagerly dug up a tweet posted by Trump in September 2013 comparing Schneiderman with two other disgraced New York politicians: Eliot Spitzer, the former New York governor who resigned amid a prostitution scandal; and former congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), who was eventually sentenced to prison for exchanging illicit messages with a teenager.
“Weiner is gone, Spitzer is gone — next will be lightweight A.G. Eric Schneiderman,” Trump tweeted in 2013. “Is he a crook? Wait and see, worse than Spitzer or Weiner.”
“The greatest part about Schneiderman finally facing his day of reckoning is the fact that Trump predicted his downfall in 2013,” the conservative website Gateway Pundit wrote Monday night.
The headline on a related article on the conservative website the Daily Wire read: “STABLE GENIUS: Trump Warned About New York AG Schneiderman In 2013.”
Fox News host Trace Gallagher said in a news segment “it’s interesting to note” that Trump’s tweet predicting Schneiderman’s downfall.
Throughout the #MeToo Movement, Fox News commentators have been adamant about asserting the innocence of accused men unless they were proved guilty. Hosts like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity are known to poke holes in the reporting of such matters in mainstream media outlets. But when it came to the explosive New Yorker article published Monday night, Carlson called it “well-sourced.”
“Nobody’s career has been boosted more by the MeToo movement than New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman,” Carlson said on his show Monday night. “Now in one of those ironies that can only happen in 2018, a well-sourced New Yorker piece says that four women claim Schneiderman may be the worst abuser of them all.”
Carlson said that while these are just allegations, which Schneiderman has denied, “if they are true, one person will certainly be vindicated,” Carlson said. He quoted the president’s 2013 tweet, claiming it showed “remarkable, almost spooky prescience.”
“Either he’s amazingly lucky on Twitter, or you should ask the president what numbers to pick in lotto tomorrow,” Carlson said.
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