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Following another controversial tweet from President Donald Trump, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) responded by accusing Trump of “trying to bully, intimidate, and slut-shame” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).
Trump’s original tweet described Gillibrand as a “lightweight” who would “do anything” for campaign contributions. The smear came after Gillibrand joined the list of senators publicly calling for Trump’s resignation amid multiple women accusing him of sexual misconduct.
Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office “begging” for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2017
Interpreting the message as inappropriately suggestive, Warren took to Gillibrand’s defense and responded with her own message to the President, ending the tweet with the now-famous hashtag #ShePersisted.
“Are you really trying to bully, intimidate and slut-shame @SenGillibrand?” Warren tweeted. “Do you know who you’re picking a fight with? Good luck with that.”
Are you really trying to bully, intimidate and slut-shame @SenGillibrand? Do you know who you're picking a fight with? Good luck with that, @realDonaldTrump. Nevertheless, #shepersisted. https://t.co/mYJtBZfxiu— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) December 12, 2017
While Trump has made no further comments, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday that Trump’s sentiments were not sexist, denying there was any sexual innuendo embedded in the tweet.
“Only if your mind is in the gutter would you have read it that way,” Sanders said.
Even so, many do not believe Sanders’ explanation or agree with Trump’s sentiments.
Strong women really grind your gears, don’t they?— Megan Bre (@hasnothing2say) December 12, 2017
Gillibrand chose to respond with her own tweet, as well.
“You cannot silence me or the millions of women who have gotten off the sidelines to speak out the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office,” she wrote.
You cannot silence me or the millions of women who have gotten off the sidelines to speak out about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office. https://t.co/UbQZqubXZv— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) December 12, 2017
In a news conference Tuesday, Gillibrand called Trump’s tweet defamatory, CNN reported.
“I see it as a sexist smear. I mean that’s what it is,” Gillibrand said. “It’s part of the president’s efforts of name calling and it’s not going to silence me.”
Samantha Reichstein is a former intern for the Daily Dot whose work focused on entertainment and politics. She's written for the Bump, the Nest, the Knot, the Austin American-Statesman, Austin Way Magazine, and Broadway World TV.