Politics, Moderate



Why is it so hard for Trump to say that evil things are evil?

Catherine Rampell on

"It almost wouldn't even have to be said."

That's how President Trump characterized his views on domestic violence Wednesday. This was a week after photographs of a woman allegedly beaten by a senior White House aide became public.

It was days after a second White House aide resigned, also following allegations of domestic abuse.

In the meantime, the president spoke and tweeted words of sympathy for accused abusers but not their victims. He passed up repeated opportunities to issue even the most anodyne condemnation of wife-beating, even as his fans on "Fox & Friends" urged him to do so, and his advisers went on Sunday shows claiming this was obviously his position.

Finally the remark that needn't be said was said.

"I'm totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind," Trump at last told reporters. "Everyone knows that. And it almost wouldn't even have to be said. So, now you hear it, but you all know."

No, Mr. President: Truly, we don't.

In any other administration, Trump would have been correct. It wouldn't need to be said that the president opposed domestic abuse. It would be taken for granted that the president wouldn't harbor accused wife-beaters. That he wouldn't consider promoting such a person. And he and his staff certainly wouldn't allow that person, unable to get a permanent security clearance, near classified materials.

It would all have gone without saying.

But not in this administration, and not with this president, whose knee-jerk reaction has been to defend men accused of harassing and assaulting women and to smear their accusers -- including some who were minors at the time of the alleged abuse.


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