Former President Barack Obama this evening issued a statement about major campaign contributor Harvey Weinstein, who is now the subject of multiple exposés in which women alleged he assaulted, sexually harassed them over decades.
Michelle and I have been disgusted by the recent reports of Harvey Weinstein. 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.
The statement arrived at CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer’s desk just as the cable news network’s legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin was responding to a question about Hillary Clinton having waited until Tuesday — five days after the initial New York Times report – to issue her statement on Weinstein. The movie exec also had contributed mightily to her presidential bid.
“This was widely know, his really inappropriate behavior with women,” Toobin scoffed, brushing aside Blitzer’s panel chatter about the “sudden” revelation.
“Seth MacFarlane made a joke about it at the Oscars in 2013,” Toobin noted. [“Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein,” MacFarlane cracked at the noms ceremony, of the supporting actress contenders].
“The real question is: Why were the Clintons, and the Obamas, so close to him during their campaigns when they were important?” Toobin asked.
“This is a real blot on the records of both the Obama and Clinton families, that they were so blind to this – willfully blind – for so long,” he added.
Veep EP Frank Rich tweeted similarly, noting Obama daughter Malia’s internship at The Weinstein Company, which started last February: