Oprah Wants to Highlight a Major Concern About the Trump Team's History With Women

Oprah Winfrey has submitted a revealing tape to the Senate concerning domestic abuse and President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Department of Labor, Andrew Puzder.

Politico reports that "senators in both parties" have reviewed a 1990 episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, titled "High-Class Battered Women," that features Andrew Puzder's ex-wife, Lisa Fierstein, describing — while in disguise — the alleged abuse she endured while married to the fast-food CEO.

Puzder has faced claims of abuse since the 1980s.

Talking Points Memo reported in December that the abuse allegations were revealed at the time of Puzder and Fierstein's 1989 divorce. "Puzder’s ex-wife... charged that her husband hit her, threw her to the ground, and unplugged the phone after she called police during a 1986 altercation," it reported.

Andrew Puzder at 2016 FreedomFest

The Riverfront Times, a St. Louis paper, reported on this altercation and well as two other separate instances of abuse. Puzder has denied the claims, telling the paper: "There was no physical abuse at any point in time."

Fierstein also released a statement to New York Magazine's The Cut on Dec. 8 that said "Andy is one of the finest men I have ever known. Many years ago I impulsively filed for divorce and was counseled to file allegations that I regretted and subsequently withdrew over thirty years ago. Andy is a wonderful father, a great person, and was a good husband."

ThinkProgress reports this is not the first time Fierstein denied her own allegations. "Fierstein first retracted her claims of abuse as part of a child custody agreement in 1990," it noted.

Feirstein has commented on the Oprah tape.

In a letter to the Senate HELP Committee, Fierstein goes back on her claims of abuse, writing: "I was hesitant [to go on the show] but encouraged by friends and became caught up in the notion of a free trip to Chicago and being a champion of women and women’s issues. I regret my decision to appear on that show."


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Susan Collins (R-Maine), who is also on the Senate HELP Committee, has reportedly viewed the tape, according to Politico. Collins is also one of a handful of Republican senators who are undecided on Puzder, whose confirmation hearing is on Thursday. She would not tell Politico if the tape helped her reach a decision.

Puzder is not the only Trump pick facing allegations of domestic violence.

White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence in 1996. As ATTN: previously noted, "Bannon's ex-wife alleged he pulled her neck and wrist during an argument and smashed her phone to prevent her from calling law enforcement, according to a Santa Monica Police report obtained by Politico."


Bannon pled "not guilty" but the charges were eventually dropped, Bannon's ex-wife electing not to appear in court.

Corey Lewandowski, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, was also charged with one count of battery in March over allegations he physically assaulted former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields at a news conference.

Lewandowski pled not guilty, and Trump stood by his side, commenting on the incident during a Today show appearance: "I think [Fields] would have pressed charges anyway because I think she likes it." In April, the charges were dropped.

There are also, of course, the numerous allegations of sexual assault against Trump himself.


Depositions from Trump's first ex-wife, Ivana, alleged he raped her in "a fit of rage." Trump denied the allegations and Ivana's legal team later told The Daily Beast: "she felt raped emotionally.... She was not referring to it [as] a criminal matter, and not in its literal sense, though there’s many literal senses to the word."

Trump also was caught bragging about assaulting women in a leaked conversation, a controversy he survived, going on to win the election. The question now is whether Puzder will be able to survive an incriminating tape of his own.