"You cannot silence me or the millions of women who have gotten off the sidelines to speak out about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office."
~ Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
SENATOR KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-N.Y.) quickly fired back at President Donald Trump on Tuesday, after he posted a crude tweet about her, attacking the lawmaker amid calls for Congress to investigate the President's history of sexual harassment and assault and her suggestion that he resign.
With as many as 19 separate allegations aimed at the President, Gillibrand has been leading the charge in the Senate against Trump and recently called for his resignation.
In his tweet Tuesday morning, Trump lashed out by calling the Senator a "lightweight" and then suggested that Gillibrand "would do anything" for his donations before he ran for office.
After responding on social media, the Senator held a press conference, calling Trump's tweet a "sexist smear".
Gillibrand has become a leading voice in calls to hold Trump accountable for his sexual misconduct – including behaviour that he openly admitted to in an audio recording that was circulated during the 2016 campaign – just as Democratic lawmakers (former) Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) have been called to account for allegations against them.
The #TrumpToo movement has taken off in recent days, weeks after the #MeToo social media campaign flooded Facebook and Twitter feeds. Supporters want Congress and the Justice Department to open an inquiry into reports that Trump grabbed, forcibly kissed and harassed women, at various times during his career.
As of Tuesday (12 December), 277,845 people had signed a MoveOn.org petition calling for an investigation.
Trump has denied the allegations, despite his statement last year that the audio recording in which he bragged about sexually assaulting a woman, was authentic. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Monday (11 December) that the allegations took place "long before he was elected president" while also claiming they were untrue.
Speaking to reporters, Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) strongly condemned the President's remarks about Gillibrand, saying, "He's a misogynist and admitted sexual predator and a liar. The only thing that will stop him from attacking us, because nobody is safe, is his resignation."
On social media, Trump critics and supporters of #TrumpToo also jumped to Gillibrand's defence and expressed shock at his comments about the Senator, which many said qualified as a new incident of sexual harassment.