White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Thursday accused Hillary Clinton of “hypocrisy” for distancing herself from disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein even though her husband, former President Bill Clinton, had faced several allegations of committing “sexual harassment in the workplace.”
Conway, during an interview on Fox News, said the former secretary of state’s recent disavowal of Weinstein, who is facing a barrage of sexual misconduct allegations, was “clearly a continuation of the hypocrisy by Hillary Clinton and other so-called feminists like her.”
After a New York Times report revealed that Weinstein had paid several women to settle allegations of sexual misconduct spanning decades, Clinton and other prominent Democratic politicians have come under fire for having accepted donations from him during past campaigns. Since the initial report, and an investigation by The New Yorker, several more women have come forward with allegations against Weinstein of sexual impropriety and assault.
Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday asked Conway about “Bill Clinton’s atrocious examples of abusing women” and whether that, coupled with the Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of donations from countries with regressive gender policies like Saudi Arabia, amounted to “liberal hypocrisy.”
Conway first rebuked the Clintons for their charitable dealings with countries that “oppress women and girls,” before drawing a parallel between the actions of the Clintons and Weinstein.
“You talk about sexual harassment in the workplace, [Bill Clinton] gave $800,000 to settle,” she said, referring to a lawsuit between the former president and Paula Jones.
Clinton paid $850,000 to settle a lawsuit without admitting liability to Jones, a former Arkansas state employee who had accused him of exposing himself to her in a hotel room in 1991 while he was governor of the state. He denied the charge, but the story was one of several allegations of prior sexual misconduct to rock Clinton’s presidency during the 1990s, and eventually led to his giving false testimony and being impeached.
Conway added that Bill Clinton’s sexual harassment settlement amounted to Hillary Clinton’s having “some experience in that space.”
Conway also praised President Donald Trump’s record of deploying women in the workplace when he was real estate mogul, saying it was an example of how to properly treat women in the business realm.
Thursday’s interview came just weeks after Hannity hosted Bill O’Reilly on his show – the former lead Fox News anchor’s first appearance on the network since being ousted amid a wave of sexual harassment allegations. In April it was reported that O’Reilly had settled with five women over the past 15 years at Fox, at a cost of $13 million.
Hannity was also an outspoken supporter of Roger Ailes, former CEO of Fox News, who similarly departed the network after allegations of sexual impropriety allegations. 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, has paid $45 million related to harassment suits brought against Ailes, who died in May.
Both O’Reilly and Ailes denied any wrongdoing.
Trump also came under fire during the 2016 presidential campaign for a string of sexual misconduct allegations after the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape surfaced. In that 2005 tape, Trump, who was then a reality-TV star, openly bragged about groping women. He dismissed the allegations as “outright lies.”