He’s not talking about random women, which is crucial. He is talking about women he is pursuing and attempting to seduce.
He’s not talking about random women, which is crucial.
Sumant Manne

I came back to this, because something you said was bothering me. It’s this: maybe this might have involved ‘women he was pursuing’ in some cases but how can this be argued in the case of an airline passenger who had her seat upgraded and only then found herself sitting next to Trump? We must ask in other cases, did they know he was pursuing them, did they want to be pursued, did they welcome the culmination being that they were ‘groped’? Unless you can show all of these conditions were met, there was no consent. I hope that you are not suggesting that being a participant in a Miss Universe event or an International Tennis tournament is ‘implicit consent’ by virtue of the circumstances because that would imply that all women should ‘get back in the kitchen where they belong’ unless they want to be groped should they venture forth into such events.

I mean, get real, Trump is just a dirty old man, we all know that, if he had any sense he’d be quiet. I am sure you were just trying to be even-handed, and I agree with the principal of justice that ‘the accused is entitled to the benefit of any doubt’ but I cannot see room for doubt here.

I don’t question your motives, and in most situations I’d be arguing along with you, I don’t like those who make a ‘balance of probabilities’ judgement, then pursue it as if it were a fact, but I don’t think in this case you can sustain an argument for Trump’s innocence — there’s just too many witnesses who say he assaulted them, that they had never before met him, that they were unprepared for his assault, and of course his own words, which do not in any way convey that the women knew they were being ‘pursued’, in fact he tends to indicate that he had some pride in surprising the totally unprepared ‘you can get away with anything’ — I’m not quoting accurately, I need to see the transcript again. Right through this, there’s absolutely no evidence that Trump sought consent, and no evidence that it was given either implicitly or by the actions of the victims. As I’ve said before, I have no doubt that, under Australian law, Trump would be found guilty of sexual assault, but I have tried to make it clear that I do not claim knowledge of US law on these matters.

I suspect that you, like me, find the whole concept of ‘trial by media’ obnoxious, which has certainly happened in this case, and you were trying to right the balance a little. And I agree with your stance. I just think you chose an unfortunate place to make a stand, this time.

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