Donald Trump Made Boneheaded Comments About Sexual Harassment. Then His Son Made It Worse.


Mary Altaffer/AP

Polling shows Donald Trump trailing far behind Hillary Clinton among female voters—and recent comments by the GOP nominee and his son Eric aren’t likely to help him win over women.

In the wake of Roger Ailes’ ignominious fall from the helm of Fox News over allegations that he sexually harassed multiple women at the network, Trump has faced questions about the scandal and his own views on workplace harassment. Trump’s response has been that the allegations against Ailes (a friend of the GOP nominee) seem overblown

In an interview with USA Today published on Monday, Trump was asked how he would feel if his daughter Ivanka were subjected to the kind of harassment that women at Fox allegedly experienced. His response, Powers wrote, was “startling, even by Trumpian standards.” He didn’t call for the harasser to be punished; rather, he said, “I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case.”

On Tuesday, Trump’s son Eric appeared on CBS This Morning to defend his father’s recent comments but ended up just digging the two in deeper. “I think what he’s saying is, Ivanka is a strong, powerful woman” who wouldn’t “allow herself to be subjected to that,” he said.

He seemed to be suggesting that strong women don’t face sexual harassment in the first place and that women who do experience it are somehow weak. None other than Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly—an alleged victim of Ailes’ unwanted advances—summed up her dismay with Eric Trump’s comments in a one word tweet.  

Neither Trump nor his son seemed to consider the fact that Ivanka may have, in fact, had to navigate the issue of harassment at work. But according to her own book, early in her career Ivanka did worry about catcalling from construction workers and the male-dominated world of real estate. She even tried to change her appearance to ward off harassment.


as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot. That's what Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein tackles in her annual December column—"Billionaires Are Not the Answer"—about the state of journalism and our plans for the year ahead.

We can't afford to let independent reporting depend on the goodwill of the superrich: Please help Mother Jones build an alternative to oligarchy that is funded by and answerable to its readers. Please join us with a tax-deductible, year-end donation so we can keep going after the big stories without fear, favor, or false equivalency.


as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot.

Please read our annual column about the state of journalism and Mother Jones' plans for the year ahead, and help us build an alternative to oligarchy by supporting our people-powered journalism with a year-end gift today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.