White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to a reporter’s question on Tuesday when asked to interpret President Donald Trump’s tweet about Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). On Tuesday, Trump tweeted that Gillibrand was a "lightweight" who would "come to my office ‘begging' for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them)." There were some who understood Trump's remark about doing "anything" as a sexual reference. Sanders said that the reporter’s mind would have to be "in the gutter" to understand Trump’s remark as sexist or a form of sexual innuendo.
At the outset of the briefing, Sanders said that Trump’s tweet was about the corruption of the country’s political system and wealthy contributors’ access to politicians. Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, have contributed to Gillibrand’s campaigns in the past.
When reporter April Ryan asked if Gillibrand was owed an apology for any "misunderstanding" of the tweet, Sanders said, "I think only if your mind is in the gutter would you have read it that way, so no." Ryan replied, "No, it's not. What he said was open and it was not—"
Sanders said, "He was obviously talking about political, partisan games, that people often play, and the broken system that he's talked about repeatedly.” She added, "This isn't new. This isn't a new sentiment. This isn't new terminology. He's used it several times before."
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) tweeted on Tuesday that the president was seeking to "slut-shame" Gillibrand. MSNBC's "Morning Joe" show host Mika Brzezinski called on Sanders to denounce Trump from the podium for Trump's tweet.
When asked about the tweet on Tuesday, Gillibrand told a press conference, “It was a sexist smear attempting to silence my voice. I will not be silenced on this issue, neither will the women who stood up to the president yesterday and neither will the millions of women who have been marching since the Women's March [on Washington] to stand up against policies that they do not agree with."
We won't be silenced. pic.twitter.com/Di2J4hvn1R— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) December 12, 2017
More than a dozen women have alleged improprieties on Trump's part before he became president. On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sanders said in a press briefing that the allegations took place "long before he was elected president" and that Trump has "addressed these accusations directly and denied all of these allegations." Sanders also claimed that "eyewitnesses" have verified Trump's denials. "The President has denied any of these allegations, as have eyewitnesses," Sanders said. "Several reports have shown those eyewitnesses also back up the President's claim in this process and again, the American people knew this and voted for the President and we feel like we are ready to move forward in that process."