Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said on Tuesday that she will not be shamed into silence by a misogynist bully — even if he happens to sit in the Oval Office.
The statement came after President Donald Trump directed a “sexist smear” at the senator on Twitter that same day.
“It was a sexist smear attempting to silence my voice, and I will not be silenced on this issue,” Gillibrand said at a news conference. “Neither will the women who stood up to the president yesterday, and neither will the millions of women who have been marching since the Women’s March to stand up against policies they do not agree with.”
Tuesday morning the president took to Twitter to call Gillibrand a “lightweight” and “total flunky” who begged for campaign contributions and “would do anything” for them.
Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office “begging” for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2017
“It’s part of the president’s effort at name-calling and it’s not gonna silence me,” Gillibrand said. “It’s intended to silence me. It’s not gonna silence the women who have stood up against him directly, and it’s not gonna silence the millions of women out there that have been speaking out every day since his inauguration about things they disagree with.”
Earlier on Tuesday Gillibrand also responded to the president on his favorite social media platform.
You cannot silence me or the millions of women who have gotten off the sidelines to speak out about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office. https://t.co/UbQZqubXZv
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) December 12, 2017
Gillibrand’s announcement came shortly after a news conference in which three of the women accusing Trump of sexual harassment called for Congress to launch an investigation into the president.
Gillibrand has been an activist when it comes to tackling sexual assault issues on Capitol Hill. She was one of the first senators to say Al Franken should resign after sexual harassment allegations came out against him. She also said former President Bill Clinton should have stepped down after his affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky became public.
And on Monday she said Trump should be held to the same standard.
President Trump should resign. But, of course, he won’t hold himself accountable. Therefore, Congress should investigate the multiple sexual harassment and assault allegations against him.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) December 11, 2017
After Trump’s attack, a flood of supporters came out in Gillibrand’s defense — including MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski, who in June was also a target of Trump’s rampant sexism on Twitter.
— Mika Brzezinski (@morningmika) December 12, 2017
.@chucktodd: its interesting to me that Trump went after Sen Gillibrand calling on him to resign. She wasnt first person to do that, but she was first WOMAN to call on him to do that. I’m guessing there’s a lot of people in the White House that wish he hadn’t tweeted about this
— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) December 12, 2017
WORTH NOTING: Sen. Gillibrand is one of several Democrats who’ve called on @realDonaldTrump to step down. He is attacking the woman who made the call.
— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) December 12, 2017
Dear girls of the US: Don’t be discouraged. This is not normal. @SenGillibrand has worked tirelessly with integrity, courage & dignity. This stale harassment & derision can’t and won’t stop her. Ever. Or you. Sorry you have to see a presidency like this. #resist #offthesidelines https://t.co/CdtxEElN71
— Connie Britton (@conniebritton) December 12, 2017
I stand with Sen. Gillibrand, a dedicated public servant and friend. America must reject Trump’s sexist slurs.
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) December 12, 2017
Are you really trying to bully, intimidate and slut-shame @SenGillibrand? Do you know who you’re picking a fight with? Good luck with that, @realDonaldTrump. Nevertheless, #shepersisted. https://t.co/mYJtBZfxiu
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) December 12, 2017