President Trump joked about the #MeToo movement Thursday, making light of the international campaign against sexual assault during a wide-ranging speech in which he also took aim at a potential 2020 White House opponent, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
Trump imagined himself sparring with Warren on the debate stage and told the crowd that he would toss her a DNA kit, “but we have to do it gently because we’re in the #MeToo generation, so we have to be very gentle.”
He then made a throwing motion and said that “we will very gently take that kit, and we will slowly toss it, hoping it doesn’t hit her and injure her arm.”
The #MeToo movement gained steam late last year following revelations about decades of sexual abuse allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein. It has since led to the downfall of dozens of powerful men across a broad range of industries.
Trump’s quip comes on the same day that the White House announced the hiring of former Fox News Channel executive Bill Shine, who was ousted from the network last year in the wake of lawsuits suggesting that he ignored alleged sexual harassment by Fox’s late chairman and chief executive, Roger Ailes.
More than a dozen women have accused Trump of sexual assault or improper conduct. Trump has denied all of the allegations against him.
Warren shot back at Trump on Twitter on Thursday night by criticizing his administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which has resulted in the separation of thousands of migrant children from their parents.
“Hey, @realDonaldTrump: While you obsess over my genes, your Admin is conducting DNA tests on little kids because you ripped them from their mamas & you are too incompetent to reunite them in time to meet a court order,” Warren said. “Maybe you should focus on fixing the lives you’re destroying.”
Trump also used his Montana speech to deride Rep. Maxine Waters, the veteran Democratic lawmaker from California whose call for aggressive protests against Trump administration officials drew the president’s ire last month.
Trump mentioned his previous attacks on Waters as a “low IQ individual” and added what appeared to be his own personal assessment, telling the crowd, “I mean, honestly, she’s somewhere in the mid-60s, I believe.”
A Waters spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Anne Gearan contributed to this report.