Donald Trump has been slammed for his hypocrisy after calling for “due process” in the wake of allegations that have surfaced about two members of his staff.
The US president said on Saturday that people’s lives “are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation”.
“Some are true and some are false,” he tweeted. “Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused.”
His comments come following the departure of two White House staff over allegations of domestic abuse.
White House staff secretary Rob Porter resigned on Wednesday after allegations from his two ex-wives that he was abusive to them surfaced. Colbie Holderness, Porter’s first wife, alleged that he punched her in 2005 and provided photos of bruises she says were inflicted by him.
Trump has stressed that Porter maintains his innocence, telling reporters: “He says he’s innocent, and I think you have to remember that. He said very strongly yesterday that he’s innocent.”
“It’s obviously a tough time for him. He did a very good job in the White House. And we hope he has a wonderful career,” Trump added, Reuters reports. “But we absolutely wish him well.”
Later on Friday, the White House said a second Trump administration official had resigned over allegations of domestic abuse.
David Sorensen, a speechwriter who worked at the Council on Environmental Quality, resigned after being confronted by White House officials, spokesman Raj Shah said.
The Washington Post reported on Friday that Sorensen’s former wife claimed he was violent and emotionally abusive during their two-and-a-half-year marriage, accusations that he denied, saying that she had in fact victimised him.
His push for “due process”, which allows for fair treatment through the normal judicial system, sparked outrage on Saturday, with many pointing to the multiple times the 71-year-old had jumped - and stuck to - conclusions even after they had been proven false.
Here are five times Trump ignored due process:
1. The Central Park Five
In 1989, a group of black and Hispanic men were convicted but later exonerated of the rape of a female jogger in Central Park, in New York City.
Trump spent $85,000 on newspaper ads demanding the men be killed.
At the time, Trump wrote: “Muggers and murderers should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes.”
He has never apologised, even after serial rapist Matias Reyes confessed to the crime.
Trump has gone a step further and doubled down on his earlier comments, saying in a statement to CNN in 2016: “They admitted they were guilty.
“The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous.”
2. President Barack Obama
Trump promoted the conspiracy that Barack Obama was not born in the US.
He insisted that his predecessor was born in Kenya, questioning the legitimacy of Obama’s birth certificate.
It was only during his bid to become president that Trump retracted his false accusation.
“I say nothing,” Trump said during a 2016 debate with candidate Hillary Clinton regarding Obama’s long-form birth certificate. “I say nothing because I was able to get him to produce it.”
Last year, Trump falsely accused Obama of having ”wires tapped” in Trump Tower. The Department of Justice flatly denied the claim.
3. Hillary Clinton
Trump coined the term “crooked Hillary” during his US election campaign, frequently referring using it at rallies and in social media posts.
He has also repeatedly claimed that Clinton lied to the FBI regarding her private email server.
Meanwhile, former Trump administration official Flynn pleaded guilty last December to misleading the FBI about talks he had with Russian officials.
“Hillary Clinton lied many times to the FBI, nothing happened to her,” Trump said last December. “Flynn lied and they’ve destroyed his life. I think it’s a shame.”
Former head of the FBI James Comey, who Trump fired, told Congress there was “no basis to conclude she lied to the FBI.”
4. Rafael Cruz
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Ted Cruz was Trump’s closest rival for the GOP nomination.
Trump promoted a bizarre conspiracy theory at the time that Cruz’s father, Rafael, was somehow involved in President John F Kennedy’s 1963 assassination.
The theory that Cruz’s father was involved in the murder plot was first reported in March 2016, and included a photo supposedly taken in 1963 showing a man it identified as Cruz’s father helping JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald distribute pro-Fidel Castro literature in New Orleans.
Cruz denied that the story was true and Trump refused to apologise for repeating the claim.
5. Judge Gonzalo Curiel
During his presidential bid, Trump attacked US District Judge Gonzalo Curiel on national television, saying the “Mexican” justice could not impartially rule on lawsuits against Trump University because of Trump’s promise to build “a wall between here and Mexico”.
Trump told CNN’s Jake Tapper in 2016: “We are building a wall. He’s a Mexican. We’re building a wall between here and Mexico.”
Curiel is an American who was born in Indiana.
Trump’s comments drew widespread criticism at the time, with House Speaker Paul Ryan saying the criticism was the “the textbook definition of a racist comment.”