WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said on Sunday she believes any woman who has felt violated or mistreated by a man has every right to speak up, even if it is President Donald Trump they are accusing.
Accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior or misconduct have led to the resignations of three members of Congress this month. The growing wave of women reporting abuse or misconduct has brought down powerful men from Hollywood to Washington, from movie producer Harvey Weinstein to popular television personality Matt Lauer.
More than 10 women have accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct before he was president, and Trump, while filming a segment of the television program “Access Hollywood,” said he has kissed and groped women. The tape emerged during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Haley, discussing a cultural shift of women coming forward on the CBS “Face the Nation” program, applauded women who have come forward: “I‘m proud of their strength. I‘m proud of their courage.”
Asked how people should assess the accusers of the president, Haley said, it was “the same thing.”
“Women who accuse anyone should be heard. They should be heard and they should be dealt with, and I think we heard them prior to the election,” she said. “I think any woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way – they have every right to speak up.”
Whether Trump’s election settled the matter was “for the people to decide,” Haley said.
“I know that he was elected but women should always feel comfortable coming forward and we should all be willing to listen to them.”
Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe