Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York responded to a tweet by President Donald Trump that critics allege was sexually suggestive.
"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." Gillibrand tweeted on Dec. 12.
Gillibrand was responding to an earlier tweet in which Trump wrote: "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."
The exchange followed Gillibrand's Dec. 11 call for Trump to resign due to a number of sexual misconduct allegations made against him by at least 16 women.
"President Trump has committed assault, according to these women, and those are very credible allegations of misconduct and criminal activity, and he should be fully investigated and he should resign," Gillibrand told CNN.
If Trump refused to "immediately resign," Gillibrand added, Congress should investigate his behavior and hold him to account.
"These allegations are credible; they are numerous," she added. "I've heard these women's testimony, and many of them are heartbreaking."
A group of House Democrats issued a call on Dec. 11 for the House Oversight Committee to examine the allegations.
"The American people deserve a full inquiry in to the truth of these allegations," stated a letter signed by 59 female lawmakers.
Speaking on Dec. 12, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi joined fellow Democrats in calling for the allegations against Trump to be investigated.
However, she refused to call for Trump to resign when asked by CNN, noting instead that there was a legal route to pursue allegations.
"I don't think that a person who has been a sexual harasser should be president of the United States, but hopefully the committee would do the investigation, whether they do or not ... the court case will proceed," Pelosi said.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump at a Dec. 11 White House press briefing.
"As the President said himself, he thinks it's a good thing that women are coming forward but he also feels strongly that a mere allegation shouldn't determine the course," she told reporters. "And in this case, the President has denied any of these allegations, as have eyewitnesses ... several reports have shown those eyewitnesses also back up the President's claim in this process, and again the American people knew this and voted for the President and we feel like we're ready to move forward in this process."