Updated at 9:45 a.m. | President Donald Trump on Tuesday alleged that Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand “would do anything” for his campaign contributions before he ran for president.
In a morning tweet, the president dubbed the New York Democrat a “lightweight” and dubbed her “disloyal” to the Clintons, whom he tweeted “USED!” her.
Gillibrand told CNN on Monday that Trump should resign due to the allegations of sexual misconduct against him and was one of more than 50 women Democratic lawmakers asking the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to open an investigation into those allegations.
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
A White House spokesman was asked to define “do anything,” but he has yet to respond to an email seeking clarification.
Trump was asked by reporters what he meant by “do anything” after he signed the 2018 military authorization bill, but he did not respond.
In part of his tweet, the president was referring to Gillibrand’s criticism of former President Bill Clinton, whom she had been politically loyal to for years before her comments about his alleged sexual misconduct.
Gillibrand responded to the president, telling him, “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.”
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
Democrats said Trump’s tweet constituted sexual harassment.
“That was an ugly and suggestive tweet, and we all know what he was trying to say there, and it is beneath the office of the presidency,” California Rep. Eric Swalwell said on CNN.
Patti Solis Doyle, who was Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager in both of her Senate campaigns and her 2008 presidential campaign, took her criticism a step further, calling Trump a “disgusting pig” for his “vile, disgusting implication.”
"And would do anything for them". What does that mean, @realDonaldTrump?! You, a man, accused by more than a dozen credible women of assault and harassment, has the audacity make this vile, disgusting implication. SHAME! https://t.co/Cx2a1X2AWA— Patti Solis Doyle (@PattiSolisDoyle) December 12, 2017
Also Tuesday morning, Trump attacked Democrats — though his Justice Department is conducting the probe — for wasting “many millions of dollars” on the Russia investigation.
The president lashed out at Democrats over the special counsel investigation into whether his campaign collaborated with Russian officials in a Tuesday tweet, and then charged Democrats with dredging up old charges of sexual assault against him.
He hit Democrats with bringing his accusers back into the public spotlight after the Russia probe failed to “show any collusion with Russia.” The Justice Department is leading a federal investigation that his appointees have opted to keep going, and several GOP-run congressional panels are doing their own.
Yet Trump began Tuesday by tweeting that “despite thousands of hours wasted and many millions of dollars spent, the Democrats have been unable to show any collusion with Russia.”
So what did Democrats feel they had to do? “So now they are moving on to the false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don’t know and/or have never met,” the president tweeted.
He dubbed the entire matter, as he often does, “FAKE NEWS!”
Despite thousands of hours wasted and many millions of dollars spent, the Democrats have been unable to show any collusion with Russia - so now they are moving on to the false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don’t know and/or have never met. FAKE NEWS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2017
His mention of the accusers, three of whom appeared Monday on NBC’s “Today” program, came less than 24 hours after his top spokeswoman declined to discuss the renewed accusations during a tense Monday briefing.
The criticism of Democrats comes days before he will need their votes to avert a holiday season government shutdown.
Democratic Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr. of Virginia fired back with his own tweet, saying he agrees with Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who on Sunday said she wants all women who allege sexual misconduct by men to be heard, including Trump’s accusers.
I believe the women.I agree with @NikkiHaley that they deserve to be heard. I support @HouseDemWomen’s calls for an investigation into @realDonaldTrump’s many sexual assaults, acts which he was recorded boasting about. The American people deserve to know the truth. https://t.co/4QHKByJwLI — Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) December 12, 2017
“The American people deserve to know the truth,” he wrote.
A Trump friend told CNN shortly after the tweet was posted that the president should have his social media posts vetted before they go live.
Asked about this tweet, Trump friend @ChrisRuddyNMX tells @ChrisCuomo, "I'm not the President's interpreter of tweets," noting that he thinks the President should "have a review process" for his tweets. https://t.co/3w1NZesKT4— Betsy Klein (@betsy_klein) December 12, 2017