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Trump’s response to adult film star’s allegation: “Oh, I’m sure she’s never been grabbed before”

GOP Presidential Nominee Donald Trump Holds Campaign Rally At Collier County Fairgrounds In Naples, Florida Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The latest sexual assault allegation against Donald Trump comes from Jessica Drake, an adult film performer who says Trump grabbed and kissed her without permission and offered her money for sex in 2006.

But Trump’s response, CNN reports, suggested that Drake should expect to be grabbed without permission if she is working in porn.

“And she's a porn star, you know, this one that came out recently,” Trump said Monday on WGIR radio’s New Hampshire Today. “‘He grabbed me, and he grabbed me on the arm.’ Oh, I'm sure she's never been grabbed before,” he said.

Right before that remark, Trump called Drake’s account “total fiction” and denied grabbing either her or other women on the arm.

"These are stories that are made up, these are total fiction,” Trump said. “They were made up. I don't know these women; it's not my thing to do what they say. You know I don't do that. I don't grab them, as they say, on the arm.”

It’s a strange move from Trump — first denying that he did what he’s being accused of, and then suggesting that it would’ve been no big deal even if he had.

But it fits the pattern of how he’s responded to some of the other allegations against him. Trump has suggested more than once that some of his accusers aren’t attractive enough for him to sexually assault. And that raises some awkward questions — if a woman does meet Trump’s standards of attractiveness, for instance, does that mean he might consider groping or kissing her against her will?

Trump’s comments also fit into an ugly set of stereotypes against sex workers when it comes to sexual assault. There’s a common misconception that if sex is part of your job, then you’re automatically up for anything — which means you can’t really be raped or assaulted, because you’re always implicitly consenting to sex.

Fox’s Brit Hume suggested exactly this about Drake:

This is totally wrong, and helps put sex workers of all types at greater risk of harm. It’s difficult enough for victims of sexual assault to come forward about their attacks, but the stigma is even greater when it comes to sex workers. It discourages people who work in sex trades from reporting sexual violence against them, which helps perpetrators feel more empowered to act with impunity.

And this stigma hurts other victims, too. It plays into dangerous, victim-blaming myths about rape — that some women are just “asking for it,” especially if they are promiscuous or dress provocatively.

But no matter what a woman does for a living, how attractive she is, what she’s wearing, or how many other people she’s slept with, it’s wrong to grab her in a sexual way without her consent. And when Trump makes comments like these, it’s not clear that he really understands that.


Watch: Trump's offensive comments on women through time