White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed the position in a press conference on Friday afternoon after CBS News reporter Jacqueline Alemany posed a question:
“Obviously sexual harassment has been in the news. At least 16 women accused the president of sexually harassing them throughout the course of the campaign. Last week, during a press conference in the Rose Garden, the president called these accusations ‘fake news.’ Is the official White House position that all these women are lying?”
“Yeah, we’ve been clear on that from the beginning and the president has spoken on it,” Sanders said in a curt response.
Sanders’ statement comes as recent reports of sexual misconduct have inspired individuals across industries to speak out against sexual assault. An article published by The New York Times about film executive Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment sparked the movement. On Weinstein, Trump said he was “not at all surprised to see it,” but did not remark on the victims.
Trump has previously been recorded making inappropriate comments in the now infamous “Access Hollywood” tape released last year, which prompted a number of women to come forward with allegations. Trump has continuously denied any wrongdoing.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated an article in The New Yorker about Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct sparked the recent push to expose such behavior. In fact, a New York Times article on the subject preceded The New Yorker’s.