Donald Trump is facing a relentless barrage of accusations that he harassed and assaulted women. At least one person in his life seems to think sexual harassment is no big deal: His son, Donald Trump Jr., who said in a 2013 interview that women who complained about sexual harassment should be “kindergarten teachers” rather than “in the workforce.”
The interview, BuzzFeed reports, was on the Opie and Anthony Radio Show, where Trump and the host were talking about all-male golf clubs. This segued into a discussion of sexual harassment, which Trump made clear he thought was just a way for women to ruin men’s fun.
“If you can’t handle some of the basic stuff that’s become a problem in the workforce today, then you don’t belong in the workforce,” Trump said. “Like, you should go maybe teach kindergarten. I think it’s a respectable position.”
He later admitted, “there’s a place where you have to draw the line,” but implied that he thought harassment claims went too far: “I can play along, I can be fine, and then I can decide randomly — ‘Uh oh, you now have crossed the line, even though I’ve been going with it.’”
Aside from the puzzling idea that kindergarten teachers are either not in the workforce or are immune to sexual harassment, Trump is essentially saying that if someone at first appears to be going along with harassment, that’s a green light to do whatever you want. That’s a pretty serious misunderstanding of consent, and it seems to run in the family: Eric Trump, Trump’s brother, said in August that Ivanka Trump would never be sexually harassed at work because she’s a “strong, powerful woman.”
But this is nothing new for Trump, who defended his father’s bragging about sexual assault by saying it made him seem human. Even before he was in the political spotlight, Trump had tweeted jokes downplaying sexual harassment.
And since his father has been running for president, he’s also been known for picking up on some of the worst memes on the right — from Pepe the Frog to the infamous tweet comparing Syrian refugees to Skittles.