Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said Sunday that the women who’ve accused President Trump of sexual misconduct “should be heard.”
“I think we heard from them prior to the election,” Haley told CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” “And I think any woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way, they have every right to speak up.”
Her statement is a departure from the White House stance that the women who have accused the President of groping or touching them without consent are lying.
The allegations against her boss were brought up after Haley applauded women in general for speaking up about sexual harassment incidents.
“I know that he was elected, but women should always feel comfortable coming forward,” Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, said when asked about the claims against Trump. “And we should all be willing to listen to them.”
A 2005 audio recording of Trump during an “Access Hollywood” appearance captured him discussing grabbing women by their genitals.
The women accusing Donald Trump of sexual assault
At least 16 women has accused the President of sexual misconduct or harassment, according to NBC News.
Former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos sued the President earlier this year, alleging he tarnished her reputation by saying she lied about her harassment allegations.
Zervos had previously claimed Trump in 2007 “kissed her on the mouth repeatedly” without her permission and groped her at a Beverely Hills hotel.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has previously said the President’s accusers are lying.
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) all resigned last week amid allegations of sexual misconduct or harassment over the years.
Several women have also accused Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of misconduct when he was in his 30s and they were teenages. The Republican has denied the accusations, and President Trump has fully supported the firebrand conservative.
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said Trump was elected regardless of the allegations against him, making it pointless to “re-litigate the election.”
“Should people who were victimized have their day in court, their opportunity to present their information?” Scott continued. “I have no problem with that issue.”
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) took a harsher stance Saturday night when he called on Trump to resign over the allegations against him.
Booker, who was in Alabama to campaign with Democrat Doug Jones, said the charges against Trump were worst than the ones that prompted Franken to resign last week.
“The fact pattern on him is far more damning than the fact pattern on Al Franken,” Booker told Vice News.