Booker made the comments Sat., Dec. 9 during a campaign event in Alabama to support Doug Jones, the state’s Democratic candidate for Senate. Jones is engaged in a tight race against embattled Republican candidate Roy Moore, whose campaign has been dogged by sexual misconduct accusations.
Booker told VICE News that the sexual harassment allegations against Trump are “far more damning” than the claims against Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), who on Thu., Dec. 12 announced his resignation from office after multiple women accused him of groping them.
“I just watched Al Franken do the honorable thing and resign,” Booker said. “My question is — why isn’t Donald Trump doing the same thing? Who has more serious allegations against him, with more women who have come forward.”
While Trump has been quick to call out other high-profile men accused of sexual misconduct in recent weeks, including Franken and Matt Lauer, who was fired from NBC’s “Today” show over sexual assault allegations, he’s refrained from applying the same level of scrutiny to his own behavior.
At least 19 women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, including forcible kissing and groping, since the 1980s. He even bragged about grabbing women “by the pussy” on the now-infamous 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape.
Trump denied the allegations throughout his 2016 presidential campaign and dismissed the “Access Hollywood” recording as merely “locker room talk.” In October, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders suggested all the women accusing Trump of sexual harassment were lying.
Booker’s comments follow a call by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) that Trump should resign.
“The president should resign because he certainly has a track record with more than 17 women of horrific conduct,” Merkley said on Thursday.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tweeted on Thu., Dec. 7 that Trump should “think about resigning,” a point he reiterated on Sunday during NBC’s “Meet The Press.”
As lawmakers push for Trump’s record of alleged sexual misconduct to be re-examined, the president is working to get Moore elected in the Alabama Senate race. Despite his swift condemnation of Franken, Trump has endorsed Moore, a man accused of making sexual advances toward teenagers when he was in his 30s decades ago.
“We cannot afford, this country, the future of this country, cannot afford to lose a seat in the very, very close United States Senate,” Trump told a crowd Friday at a rally in Florida near the Alabama border. “Get out and vote for Roy Moore!”