Seventy percent of Americans believe that Congress should investigate President Trump for sexual harassment, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday. Only 25 percent said Trump shouldn’t be investigated.
Sixteen women accused Trump of sexual misconduct before the presidential election. One of them has sued Trump in New York state court, claiming he defamed her by denying her allegations on the campaign trail.
The results of the poll come amid a widespread moment of reckoning on the issue of sexual harassment across several industries, and this week the spotlight has fallen on politics. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) resigned from Congress on Tuesday amid allegations of sexual misconduct, and several members of Congress have called upon Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) to step down after seven women accused him of groping them.
Trump has criticized Franken on Twitter, an irony that was not lost on the poll respondents: 73 percent said it was hypocritical of Trump to criticize men accused of sexual harassment, and only 16 percent said he had a right to do so. “The message to President Donald Trump on calling out offenders: People who live in glass houses, even if it’s the White House, shouldn’t point fingers,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
Almost two-thirds of Americans — 63 percent — disapprove of the way Trump is handling the issue of sexual harassment and sexual assault, with 22 percent disapproving. Only 55 percent of Republicans approve. Both parties got failing grades for their handling of the matter in politics: 21 percent approve of Republicans’ efforts, while 60 percent disapprove, versus 28 percent approval to 50 percent disapproval for Democrats.
Among the poll’s other findings: 66 percent said that an elected official should resign if multiple people accuse them of sexual harassment; 24 percent said they shouldn’t. Overall, nearly half of American women — 47 percent — say they’ve been sexually assaulted. Seventeen percent of men said they had been.