During the Commander-in-Chief town hall meeting between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Trump refused to back down from a 2013 tweet that hinted sexual assault survivors in the military were at fault for their rape. In a May of 2013 tweet, Trump stated that there were 26,000 reported cases of rape in the military yet there were only 238 convictions. Trump went on to tweet that the geniuses who put men and women together in the military should have expected this.
Twitter users that were watching the Commander-in-Chief town hall meeting expressed shock and horror, calling Trump “shameful,” and Green Party candidate Jill Stein asked rhetorically “so Trump thinks women in the Armed Forces should expect to get raped?”
Several Republicans took to Twitter criticizing Trump for his handling of the question about the rape by moderator Matt Lauer. Several Republicans, including Amanda Carpenter, who was the communications director for Ted Cruz, expressed her concern over Trump’s handling of questions, calling his answers hopeless.
Matt Lauer came under plenty of fire for not following up after Trump continued to endorse the 2013 tweet. Lauer was also widely criticized for spending too much time on questioning Hillary Clinton about her emails and not spending enough time questioning Trump about his statements. In defense of Trump, several Republicans stated that Trump’s tweet was acknowledging that the majority of rapes in the military were committed by men.