New polling indicates that a majority of Americans want Congress to investigate the allegations of sexual assault and harassment against President Donald Trump. During the 2016 presidential race, more than a dozen women came forward with accusations of sexual misconduct by Trump. The current White House position is that all of the president's accusers were lying.
A survey released by Quinnipiac University on Dec. 6 found that 70 percent of national adults believe that Congress should probe Trump's sexual harassment allegations. One-fourth of respondents did not support an investigation into the matter, The Hill reports.
Breaking down the data, 86 percent of Democrats and 67 percent of Independents said that the allegations against Trump merited an investigation. Among Republicans, 39 percent agreed that the accusations should be probed.
Of those polled, 73 percent believe that it was hypocritical for Trump to criticize high-profile figures who had been accused of sexual harassment while 16 percent said it was fair game. Of national adults, 66 percent said that public officials should resign if they are faced with sexual assault or harassment allegations by multiple accusers.
The poll found 47 percent of female respondents and 17 percent of male respondents had been sexually assaulted during their lifetime.
During the 2016 presidential race, at least 13 women publicly accused Trump of sexually assaulting or harassing them. Additional accusers alleged that Trump had walked in on semi-dressed contestants when he was a beauty pageant owner. Trump previously stated during an interview with radio host Howard Stern that he would intentionally enter the contestants' dressing rooms to see them naked, The Washington Post reports.
Several of Trump's accusers said he assaulted them. Jessica Leeds alleged he had put his hand up her skirt during an airplane flight in the 1980s. Kristin Anderson accused him of touching her genitals underneath a restaurant table in the 1990s. People magazine reporter Natasha Stoynoff alleged that he had forcibly pinned her against a wall and kissed her during an interview in 2005. Former "The Apprentice" contestant Summer Zervos has an ongoing lawsuit against Trump for allegedly assaulting her at a Beverly Hills hotel in 2007.
In October 2016, The Washington Post obtained an audio recording of Trump lewdly describing his interactions with women in 2005. In the recording, Trump told former "Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush: "I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait ... Grab them by the p***y. You can do anything."
Trump denied all of the accusations on the campaign trail and stated that his accusers were lying. On Oct. 28, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters the administration's official position was that Trump's accusers had all lied
"We've been clear on that in the beginning, and the president's spoken on that," Sanders said, according to CNN.
On Dec. 7, Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota announced he would resign after several women accused him of sexual harassment. Franken singled out the allegations against Trump and GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama during his speech, USA Today reports.
"I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party," Franken said.
Later that day, Sanders was asked by reporters whether the allegations against Trump were settled following Franken's resignation.
"We feel strongly the people of this country address it when they elected Donald Trump as president," Sanders said, according to Axios.