Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia said Wednesday she is “not familiar” with President Donald Trump’s widely reported comments boasting about sexually assaulting women that came to light during the 2016 campaign.
Loeffler, who is in a tight Senate race, has campaigned on her alliance with Trump, touting that she has voted with the President 100% of the time.
Loeffler told CNN on Wednesday that there are “no” issues in which she disagrees with the President. When Doug Richards, a reporter for NBC’s Atlanta affiliated television station, asked if she disagreed with Trump’s comments about sexually assaulting women, Loeffler sidestepped the question, saying she agreed with Trump’s approach “since Day One to put America First.”
When Richards pressed, Loeffler asked what the reporter was referencing. Richards said Trump’s statements about “personally sexually assaulting women.”
Loeffler responded, “I’m not familiar with that.”
In 2016, The Washington Post reported that Trump told the Access Hollywood host Billy Bush that he kisses women without their permission, and could get away with it because he was a celebrity. “Grab them by the p—y,” Trump said. “You can do anything.”
The comments altered the final weeks of the 2016 campaign. After Trump won, the Women’s March on Washington featured countless women in “pussyhats” – pink, cat-eared knit hats, which referred to Trump’s boast and attempted to reappropriate the word “in a positive way.
Loeffler said she was unfamiliar with the President’s comments, to which, a CNN reporter said Richards was referring to what Trump said on Access Hollywood. But Loeffler again declined to put any distance between herself and Trump, and instead attacked the Democratic presidential candidate.
“This President is fighting for America,” she said. “That’s what I’m fighting for – to make sure that every American has their chance to live the American dream and against the socialist policies that Joe Biden is espousing every day.”
In December 2019, Gov. Brian Kemp appointed Loeffler to fill the seat of Sen. Johnny Isakson, who retired for health reasons. Loeffler is now running in a special election to serve the rest of the term, in which all candidates face each other on the same ballot.
She faces Georgia Republican Rep. Doug Collins and Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, among other candidates. If no one surpasses 50% of the vote, the race will turn to a two-person runoff election in January.