During an interview with TODAY‘s Savannah Guthrie on Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan punted when asked about the official White House stance on President Trump’s sexual harassment accusers. In some cases, the president himself confirmed the allegations, either during radio interviews or in leaked video footage, such as the infamous Access Hollywood tape.
The White House, as Guthrie noted during Wednesday’s interview, has maintained a hardline stance on the issue, officially stating during a press briefing in October that Trump’s 19 accusers are all “Liars.”
“We have been clear on that from the beginning and the president has spoken on it,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at the time. On Thursday, Rep. Blake Farenthold announced he would not seek re-election in 2018 following allegations of sexual harassment years earlier, which resurfaced again this month after it was revealed he had used $84,000 in taxpayer funds to pay out settlements to his accusers.
“We are having a watershed moment in this country. I think this is a defining moment in this country,” he said during and interview with Morning Edition‘s Steve Inskeep in November. “I think we’re all realizing that sexual harassment in America is absolutely pervasive and it’s got to go and we need to end it. And nowhere more is this important to set a standard and an example than elected officials. We should be held to a high standard.”