The ridiculous effort on the part of the White House to pretend Donald Trump is horrified by domestic violence reached an apex yesterday when Axios reported that Trump said Rob Porter is "sick" and that he "believes the women." Both of those claims are ridiculous efforts to spin Trump away from his tolerance of domestic violence and his own admitted assaults on women.
On the very same day, here comes Steve Cortes to defend Trump in the context of his treatment of women. The very same Steve Cortes who just last week told Joan Walsh she "wasn't fit to tie Trump's shoes," just for some perspective.
What is Cortes' core Trump defense? He hires women.
"He elevated women in his White House and business career. Kellyanne Conway to chair a successful campaign," Cortes said, ticking off a few names in support of his thesis. "Secretary Neilson. Head of DHS. Homeland security. Perhaps in this White House one of the most important agencies of the federal government. He elevated women, empowered women throughout his career, throughout his life," he concluded.
Of course, women understand that being hired for a job is not "elevating" them if they don't have power and they don't have agency. If a man hires a woman to do his bidding for less than he'd pay a man and then harasses the hell out of her because he "can," that is not elevating her.
Steve Cortes is hardly an arbiter of "elevating women," given his record of sneering at his fellow panelists, so forgive me if I'm unimpressed with his lame defense.
I was, however, impressed with Tara Setmayer's indictment later in the clip.
"Because of [Trump's] own transgressions with women, he is incapable of acknowledging that women should be believed," she said. "Because that would mean he would have to face his own accusations."
She added, "I don't care whatever women he trots out to clean up his mess. Their words ring hollow, because the boss that she works for, will not admit it or rise to the occasion."
Exactly. If you can't bear to watch the entire segment (but I recommend you do!) the entire transcript is here, in PDF form.