Fox News host Maria Bartiromo backtracks on denial of Donald Trump sexual misconduct allegations

Broadcaster says comments taken 'wildly out of context'

David Bauder
Tuesday 21 November 2017 12:20
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Maria Bartiromo
Maria Bartiromo

Fox News' Maria Bartiromo has said she was taken “wildly out of context” with her on-air claim that there had been no sexual misconduct allegations against President Donald Trump.

Bartiromo said Monday that she was aware of women — more than a dozen — who had made accusations against Trump during last year's presidential campaign. But in comments on her Fox Business Network morning show on Friday that attracted wide attention, Bartiromo had said otherwise. Trump has said those stories are untrue.

Those remarks came during a discussion about a photo where Minnesota Senator Al Franken appeared about to grope a young woman. One of the guests on Mornings with Maria, former Obama administration aide Chris Lu made reference to women who had accused Trump of unwanted kissing or groping.

​Bartiromo told him, “just to be clear, there are no allegations against the President.”

After Lu corrected her, Bartiromo said Trump had said during the campaign that the allegations were untrue.

“We're talking about a situation where we have a photo with a guy's hands on her breasts,” she said. “You can't compare the two.”

Later, she said in an apparent reference to Lu raising the issue of Trump's accusers, “this is so typical.”

After she was criticised over the weekend for her remarks, Bartiromo said on Monday that she wanted to clarify because her comment had been taken out of context.

“Obviously, I am aware that there are several women who accused the president, then candidate Donald Trump, during the election, of misconduct,” she said. “We were talking about the here and now, the news of the day, and that's what I was referring to when I said there are no allegations... I apologise if I wasn't specific or precise enough.”

Her Fox colleague, Dagen McDowell, leaped to Bartiromo's defence.

“It is disgusting to me for anybody to question the trail that you have blazed for women,” she said of the show's host.

AP

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