Judd Legum/Think Progress
Congressman Blake Farenthold (R-TX) says he’s “all in” on Donald Trump.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes tested the limits of his allegiance. In an interview Tuesday night, Hayes asked Farenthold if he would continue to support Trump “if a tape came out with Donald Trump saying ‘I really like to rape women.’”
Farenthold’s answer: maybe.
The Congressman said “I like to rape women” could be a form of “locker room talk” depending on the “context.”
Pressed by Hayes, he explicitly refused to say he’d stop supporting Trump if he was caught on tape saying he liked to rape women. The furthest Farenthold was able to go was the acknowledge that it would “be bad” and he’d have to “consider” his support.
Farenthold was sued in 2014 by his former communications director, Lauren Greene, who alleged he “created a hostile work environment and sexually harassed her.” Farenthold allegedly told his executive assistant that he had “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” about Greene. The case was eventuallysettled out of court.
Hayes hypothetical, while extreme, isn’t so different than what is captured on the actual Trump tape. Trump was caught bragging about sexually assaulting women.
Numerous Republicans withdrew their support after the release of the tape. Others, like Speaker Paul Ryan, are still supporting Trump but will no longer “defend” him. But most Republican members of Congress, like Farenthold, have maintained their endorsement of Trump.
Trump supporters have sought every way possible to justify his remarks — even using Beyonce lyrics to deflect responsibility from Trump.
On Twitter, Farenthold apologizes for “my failure to immediately condemn anyone” who would say something like that. Notably, he does not say he would withdraw his endorsement if Trump said it.