1992 Video Shows Donald Trump Victim Blaming Rape Victim

April 21st 2016

Alex Mierjeski

In 1992, Donald Trump lobbied to keep heavyweight-boxing champion Mike Tyson out of jail for raping 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant Desiree Washington, video dug up by Buzzfeed reveals

But in the course of publicly defending the boxer — who had been sentenced to 10 years in prison for raping Washington — Trump sidled into victim-blaming territory, telling NBC at the time that Washington set herself up to be sexually assaulted by Tyson.


"You have a young woman that was in his hotel room late in the evening at her own will," Trump told NBC "Nightly News" in February of 1992. "You have a young woman seen dancing for the beauty contest — dancing with a big smile on her face, looked as happy as can be."

"It's my opinion that to a large extent, Mike Tyson was railroaded in this case," the business mogul said.

At the time, many people, including Black religious and community leaders, sought to have Tyson's sentence reduced. Observers said that in Trump's case, the businessman was poised to lose millions if Tyson was locked up and could not participate in fights at his resorts and casinos.

Mother Jones reported on Trump's defense of the boxer back in December, noting that the candidate floated the idea of compensating Washington with money from a fight.

In October of last year, Tyson told the Huffington Post that Trump "should be president of the United States." "Hell yeah, big time," he said.


Tyson continued: "The guy is winning fair and square, he's not bribing anybody."

It's not the first time a 2016 presidential candidate has been criticized for victim-blaming. Earlier in April, John Kasich said that female college students should avoid parties with a lot of alcohol if they want to avoid being sexually assaulted.  

[h/t BuzzFeed News]