WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Sunday that women who accuse someone of sexual misconduct deserve to be heard, even if it involves President Donald Trump.
“I know that he was elected, but women should always feel comfortable coming forward. And we should all be willing to listen to them,” Nikki Haley said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
Trump, a Republican, won the White House last year despite the election season release of a 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape in which he described grabbing women’s private parts, followed by accusations by several women of aggressive sexual misconduct. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has since reiterated the White House’s position that the women who accused Trump of sexual harassment are lying.
On Sunday, Haley, who was the first female governor of South Carolina, praised the courage of women who have raised complaints of harassment in various industries, including government and Hollywood, saying they will “bring a conscience to the situation.”
“Women who accuse anyone should be heard. They should be heard and they should be dealt with, and I think we heard them prior to the election,” said Haley, a Republican. “I think any woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way, they have every right to speak up.”
Asked whether Trump’s election settled the issue, Haley said it was “for the people to decide.”
The wave of allegations have brought down powerful figures, including the resignations last week of Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz.