After Crude Trump Tweet, RNC Sends Out Opposition Research Attacking Kirsten Gillibrand

“The political arm of the president.”

President Donald Trump.Susan Walsh/AP

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The Republican National Committee has joined President Donald Trump’s all-out attack on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, blasting out an email Tuesday containing opposition research about the New York Democrat. The RNC’s broadside follows a back-and-forth between Gillibrand and the White House over allegations that Trump—who was infamously caught on tape boasting about assaulting women—had engaged in multiple acts of sexual misconduct before becoming president.

On Monday, three women renewed their misconduct allegations against Trump and called for Congress to open an investigation. Later Monday, Gillibrand called for Trump to resign over the accusations, which she described as “credible” and “numerous.” (Gillibrand was also the first Senate Democrat to call on Al Franken to resign over allegations of sexual misconduct.)

Trump lashed out at Gillibrand in a crude tweet Tuesday morning, declaring that she had previously begged him for campaign donations and that she “would do anything for them.”

Gillibrand quickly responded.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted Tuesday afternoon that Trump’s tweet was not a sexist innuendo and that the president was simply accusing Gillibrand of selling out her constituents in exchange for campaign contributions. 

“There’s no way that this is sexist at all,” said Sanders. “This is simply talking about a system that we have that is broken in which special interests control our government. And I don’t think that there’s probably many people that are more controlled by political contributions than the senator that the president referenced.”

For its part, the RNC stuck mainly to Gillibrand’s policy positions in the oppo research it sent out Tuesday. The email, titled “Gillibrand’s Grift,” accused the New York senator of flip-flopping on a range of issues and of “obstructing President Trump’s agenda.”

Still, the email marks the second time in recent weeks that the RNC has rushed to back up Trump in a fight over sexual misconduct allegations. In November, the RNC cut off its fundraising support for Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore following accusations that Moore had sexually assaulted teenage girls—accusations Moore denies. But the RNC quickly reversed course earlier this month, once again throwing its support behind Moore after Trump endorsed him. As one RNC official told CNN at the time, “The RNC is the political arm of the president and we support the President.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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