A former paid field organizer for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in Iowa claimed that the GOP frontrunner made an offensive sexist remark to her and a friend when they met Trump last summer.
The New York Times reported on Sunday that the staffer, Elizabeth Mae Davidson, said in a discrimination complaint that Trump told her and another campaign volunteer that they “could do a lot of damage,” referring to their looks. Davidson’s complaint also included a charge that male staffers with the same title were paid more to do the same job.
Trump denied he made the remark, but nevertheless defended it. “That is not the worst thing that could be said,” he told the Times.
The report comes just days after Trump withdrew from a Fox News debate because of a long-standing feud with Fox host and debate moderator Megyn Kelly. Trump claimed Kelly was “unfair” to him during a previous debate last August when Kelly pressed him on his past misogynistic comments. Trump subsequently referred to Kelly as a “bimbo” and that she “had blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”
Indeed, Trump’s problems with women have been well–documented and go back decades. For example, he has even made sexist comments about fellow GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina. And as journalist Karen Tumulty noted after Trump’s first flare up with Kelly, the real estate mogul said in 1991 that “it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass. But she’s got to be young and beautiful.”
In a piece that was published on Sunday before the Times story entitled “Donald Trump’s women problem,” Los Angeles Times columnist Doyle McManus noted that a recent CNN poll found that a staggering 64 percent of women had an unfavorable view of Trump (while 47 percent of men said the same).
Trump’s rising popularity “could be just enough to allow Trump to win the Republican nomination,” Doyle said, adding, “But thanks to the 19th Amendment, it doesn’t look as if it’s enough to win the presidency.”
And it appears that Trump might be a bit worried about that too, as he criticized the New York Times for reporting on the former staffer’s complaint a day before the Iowa caucuses. “A story like this could damage my chances,” he told the Times.