President Donald Trump says lives are being “destroyed by mere allegation” after two White House aides quit amid accusations of domestic abuse.
“There is no recovery for someone falsely accused,” Mr Trump tweeted.
This week saw the departure of White House speechwriter David Sorensen and staff secretary Rob Porter.
The White House has been criticised for its handling of the allegations and Mr Trump’s comments quickly drew scorn.
His remarks also come amid a worldwide debate over sexual harassment and the abuse of power.
In his tweet, Mr Trump did not mention either men, but warned allegations could result in a person’s “life and career gone”.
Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused – life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2018
Among those to react with anger was Democratic Senator Patty Murray, who responded by saying that women’s lives were affected every day by sexual violence and harassment.
“I’m going to keep standing with them, and trusting them, even if the president won’t,” she said.
Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier tweeted that Mr Trump’s comments were “offensive”.
Some commentators objected to his reference to due process, for example pointing his promotion of a conspiracy theory about former President Barack Obama’s nationality.
Mr Sorensen has been accused by his former wife of being violent and emotionally abusive, while Mr Porter faces allegations of domestic abuse involving two ex-wives.
Both men deny the allegations.
Mr Trump, who paid tribute to Mr Porter on Friday during a press conference in which he told people to “remember that he said that he’s innocent”, has himself been accused of sexual misconduct, something he has strongly denied.
The president has also supported others who have faced abuse allegations, including Alabama Republican Roy Moore, who ran unsuccessfully for the US Senate.
Sexual misconduct claims have hit a growing list of influential men around the world after a flurry of allegations were made against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
The #MeToo hashtag also went viral last year as more and more women shared their harassment experiences online.
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-43020821