Just a day after the jury handed down a guilty verdict on two charges in the landmark #MeToo case, President Trump said Tuesday “he never liked” disgraced movie mogul and now-convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein.
“So I was never a fan of Harvey Weinstein, as you know. In fact, he said he was gonna work hard to defeat me in the election,” Trump said during a news conference while abroad in India. “How did that work out, by the way? I’m trying to figure that out.”
“He was a person I didn’t like, never liked,” the president continued. “I don’t know too much about the case because, you know, between traveling and being at meetings almost every hour of the day, every minute of the day, I haven’t really been able to see too much of it.”
Weinstein was convicted Monday after five days of jury deliberations in a Manhattan courtroom. He was found guilty of a criminal sex act against a production assistant on one of his shows in 2006 and of third-degree rape of a woman in 2013, just two of five charges lobbed against him.
The jury found him not guilty on the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault, which could have resulted in a life sentence in prison. Weinstein was remanded into custody immediately after the conviction was handed down.
The highly-publicized trial marked a win for the #MeToo movement, as several women testified against Weinstein, detailing graphic accounts of alleged rapes, forced oral sex, groping, masturbation and attempts to trade sex acts for career advancements.
Trump told reporters that he thought the verdict “from the standpoint of women, it was a great thing, it was a great victory, and it sends a very strong message, a very, very strong message.”
Trump himself has been accused of sexual harassment and misconduct by several women and has faced backlash after tapes surfaced during the 2016 elections where he could be heard joking of women that he would “grab ’em by the p—y.”
Rumors of indecent behavior by Weinstein swirled in Hollywood orbits but seemed to be silenced with payoffs, nondisclosure agreements and sheer power wielded by the former media executive who promised to crush the careers of aspiring actresses and models who spoke out against him.
“I was just not a fan of his,” Trump said. “I knew him a little bit, not very well. I knew him because he was in New York. Not a person that I liked. I will say, the people that liked him were the Democrats. Michelle Obama loved him. Loved him. Hillary Clinton loved him. And he gave tremendous money to the Democrats, and I guess my question is will the Democrats be asking for that money back? Because he gave a lot of money to the Democrats, and you know, it’s too bad, but that’s the way it worked out.”