WASHINGTON – Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who has called for President Trump's resignation after numerous women accused him of sexual misconduct, chastised the president Tuesday for a "sexist smear" after he said she would "do anything" for campaign contributions.
"It was a sexist smear attempting to silence my voice, and I will not be silenced on this issue," the New York Democrat told reporters. "Neither will the women who stood up to the president yesterday, and neither will the millions of women who have been marching since the Women’s March to stand up against policies they do not agree with."
Earlier Tuesday, Trump fired off a provocative and suggestive tweet lambasting the Democratic senator, just one day after she called for his resignation over the allegations.
"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," he said. "Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!"
Trump did not explain what he meant by "do anything" for campaign contributions, or how Gillibrand might have been "USED" by Bill and Hillary Clinton. (Last month, Gillibrand startled fellow Democrats by saying President Bill Clinton should have resigned in 1998 amid the Monica Lewinsky imbroglio.)
Several women on Monday revived their allegations that Trump, a former New York businessman, sexually harassed or assaulted them and called for a congressional investigation. During the campaign, at least one dozen women accused Trump of improper sexual advances that allegedly happened years earlier.
Trump, who has denied the allegations since they were made in the fall of 2016, did not respond to a reporter's question about Gillibrand during a national defense event at the White House.
Replying to Trump on Twitter earlier Tuesday, Gillibrand tweeted: "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 is one of at least six Democratic senators who have called for Trump's resignation amid sexual harassment allegations. Joining that list on Tuesday, Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, told NBC News that "the only thing that will stop him from attacking us – because nobody’s safe – is his resignation."
Gillibrand has also called for congressional hearings into the issue – especially since the backlash against sexual harassment sweeping the country has resulted in the resignations of other politicians, including Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz.
"President Trump should resign," Gillibrand tweeted Monday. "But, of course, he won't hold himself accountable. Therefore, Congress should investigate the multiple sexual harassment and assault allegations against him."
The New York senator has been mentioned as a potential presidential candidate (and Trump challenger) in 2020.
Gillibrand's rebuke of Trump on Tuesday was echoed by other Democrats, including another often-floated possible presidential candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Massachusetts.
"Are you really trying to bully, intimidate and slut-shame @SenGillibrand?" Warren tweeted. "Do you know who you're picking a fight with? Good luck with that, @realDonaldTrump. Nevertheless, #shepersisted."
Washington state Party officials and lawmakers weigh in:
"This is a disgusting attack on my friend and colleague @SenGillibrand. President @realDonaldTrump may not like it when women stand up and speak out, but we're not going to back down or be bullied by him," tweeted Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash.
“After reading the tweet, my thoughts didn't go to the bad place Senator Murray’s and others did. Such political games trivialize the real struggle to bring sexual assault and sexual harassment from the shadows into the light. Stop it already," said King County GOP Chairman Lori Sotelo in a statement to KING 5.
The Washington State Republican Party declined to release a statement, as did Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the fourth ranking Republican in the U.S. House.
Retiring Congressman Dave Reichert, R-Wash., said: "While our views may divide us, our job is to work together to create policies and laws that make America a better place for everyone. Attacking one another’s character does not support these efforts," a statement read in part.
Former U.S. Senator Slade Gorton, R-Wash., called the President's tweet about Gillibrand highly inappropriate.
"It was an outrageous thing to do," said Gorton. "He should never have been involved in any of that Twitter activity, but he likes it; he’s going to keep on doing it. We’re not going to change him."
Gorton told KING 5 he worries that could mean trouble for the Republican Party in 2018 during the midterm elections.
This latest Twitter feud comes amid the rise of the #MeToo movement and a growing number of allegations of sexual harassment in Congress across party lines.
"They have a right to speak out; in a sense I'm sorry that they didn't speak out earlier. It's perfectly appropriate for them to do so. In fact, it's healthy for our society," said Gorton.
"I think we’ll find a number of men being somewhat more circumspect in the future, whether that will be a broad societal change or just a tactical change on the part a few individuals, that’s hard to say—but anyone who gets himself into that kind of trouble now is a true fool," Gorton continued.