Senator-elect Doug Jones (D-Alabama) may have won election over accused sexual harasser Roy Moore, but don’t expect him to take the fight over misconduct to the White House.
During CNN’s State of the Union over the weekend, host Jake Tapper asked Jones about his views on sexual harassment allegations made against President Donald Trump, after Sen. Corey Booker (D-N.J.) called on Trump to resign. There’s been a renewed focus on potential Trump misconduct, following Sen. Al Franken’s (D-Minn.) planned resignation over alleged sexual harassment. But Jones believes it’s time for Americans to “move on.”
“Those allegations were made before the election,” Jones told Tapper on CNN. “People had an opportunity to judge before that election. I think we need to move on and not get distracted by those issues, let’s get on with the real issues that are facing the people of this country right now.”
Jones also stressed that resignation shouldn’t be on the table, arguing that the “American people spoke” when electing Trump. Instead, he thinks Democrats should hold off on the issue for the time being.
“We’ll see how things go,” he told Tapper.
Sen.-elect Doug Jones of Alabama doesn’t join the several Senate Democrats calling for President Trump to step down: “I think we need to move on and not get distracted by those issues … I don’t think the President ought to resign right now” #CNNSOTU https://t.co/IjtmPvu6SK— CNN (@CNN) December 17, 2017
Of course, implying that sexual assault isn’t a “real issue” is deeply troubling, seeing how this year alone has exposed the ongoing sexual harassment in every field from hotel service to politics. The #MeToo movement has highlighted how sexual misconduct ends victims’ careers by creating predatory power dynamics, making many women (and men) feel unsafe in the workplace. Jones’ comments weren’t received well on Twitter.
Doug Jones says it's time to "move on" from sexual assault allegations against Trump— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) December 17, 2017
Say's it's a "distraction" from the real issues
Counter-point: Sexual assault is a real issuehttps://t.co/sAyWa2VCCv
Not a good message to send to the thousands of women who voted for you Sir.— Mr. W. (@Jbo_HUGE) December 17, 2017
This is why Democrats are trash and can't figure out how to win. After Doug Jones defeats a sexual abuser, he immediately defends another, who is also a fascist, dismissing allegations against Trump and saying it's time to “get on with the real issues." https://t.co/wDLoXbuIm7— Puff the Magic Hater (@MsKellyMHayes) December 17, 2017
Doug Jones on President Trump: he should not resign; Rape and sexual misconduct allegations against him are old— we should focus on “real issues.”— Killjoy Trout (@aaronceleste) December 17, 2017
Nearly 20 women now have claims against DT— this isn’t a real issue??
I WANT MY FUCKING MONEY BACK, DOUG.
Doug Jones said today re: sexual harassment allegations, "We need to move on and not get distracted by those issues. Let's get on with the real issues that are facing people of this country right now."— Becka✨ Wall (@beckawall) December 18, 2017
THESE. ARE. REAL. ISSUES. https://t.co/bWX6ozZCvx
Dismissing women's issues as non-real-problems.— mikejones (@myk_6977) December 18, 2017
Bad move, bad start #DougJones
Jones beat Moore last week in a hotly contested race that gained national media attention after multiple women accused Moore of child sexual assault and misconduct. Jones’ win has since left many right-wing activists spiraling, especially after the president endorsed Moore for the Senate. But Democrats may have to do their own reevaluating to do on how to handle sexual harassment conversations.