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Republicans Say Obama, Clinton Took Too Long To Condemn Weinstein

The sexual assault scandal involving Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has provided another opportunity for Republicans to criticize Barack Obama.

The Daily Mail reported that the former president is under fire for waiting six days to respond to the news that a number of women had accused Weinstein, a major Democratic Party donor, of sexual harassment or rape. The Miramax founder raised $680,000 for Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012. In early 2017, he gave the ex-president’s 19-year-old daughter, Malia, a job as an intern.

The Republican National Committee has produced a video with clips of Obama and Hillary Clinton speaking out against sexual assault, and asking why they had not yet denounced Weinstein. The video features audio of Michelle Obama praising the producer as a “wonderful human being” and “good friend.” In addition, there are pictures of the former president and Clinton posing for photos with Weinstein at Democratic fundraisers.

Other prominent Democrats, as well as Hollywood stars, were quick to disavow the producer when the allegations became known last week. At last report, eight Democratic senators had pledged to return money the producer raised for their campaigns. Five days after the story about Weinstein broke, Clinton said she was “shocked and appalled.”

CBS News reported that Obama and the former first lady issued a statement on Tuesday. “Michelle and I have been disgusted by the recent reports about Harvey Weinstein,” they wrote. “Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status. We should celebrate the courage of women who have come forward to tell these painful stories. And we all need to build a culture - including by empowering our girls and teaching our boys decency and respect - so we can make such behavior less prevalent in the future.”

Before the Obamas put out the statement, an RNC official told the Daily Mail: “(They) found time to take money from (Weinstein) and even host him at the White House, but somehow they can’t find time to condemn him now. While it took five days for Hillary Clinton’s press secretary to tweet out a half-hearted statement from her, it’s even more stunning that Barack Obama hasn’t said a word about Harvey Weinstein.”

Visitors’ logs indicate that Weinstein went to the White House 12 times while Obama was president. On 10 of those occasions, the producer met with the first lady. He attended a celebration of the Library of Congress in 2010, two holiday-related events the same year, and a state dinner for then-Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom in 2012. The producer met with Valerie Jarrett, a top Obama adviser, in 2011, and took part in a Valentine’s Day event with children in 2013.

Weinstein raised money for Democratic candidates by “bundling” contributions from other Hollywood celebrities. He organized a 2012 event at his Westport, Conn., residence, where 60 donors paid $32,400 per person to help the Obama campaign. Following that year’s election, the producer held another fundraiser for the president’s political action committee that garnered $64,800. Obama spoke at the event, thanking Weinstein for his “incredible hospitality.” He added: “We are so grateful for (his) friendship and support, and for the amazing movies that (he has) made.”

Source: Daily Mail
Photo: YouTube

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