Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Gabby Petito, longtime columnist, on unwanted groping, a gender-fluid politician and what to do about sexual misconduct in Congress

You can see the conversation below:

CNN’s RACHEL DONAHUE: Speaking of Brian Laundrie in the House of Representatives, are we there anymore?

GABBY PETITO: No, oh well! I don’t know what he’s doing.

DONAHUE: So you think he should be impeached?

PETITO: Yes, you know that, you know what, look, I have no idea what’s going on, and it makes no sense whatsoever. This whole conversation is just so upsetting to me! I feel so really sad for that man.

DONAHUE: You didn’t go after Senator Paul Ryan for him groping you?

PETITO: Well, no, just I don’t think he’s the right person for a United States Congress, I just don’t think he’s the right person. I would love to see the—either, you know, Gabby Paul or Michelle Malkin in there instead.

DONAHUE: Would you take him down—would you be able to ask him to resign?

PETITO: Oh no, I’d really rather he resign from his position. You know why? Because it would probably save—this would probably be more than just sex, maybe it was more than just sex, but he also displayed all kinds of signs of domestic abuse. Like he wouldn’t listen to his own lawyers. And—I don’t know. All I know is, I feel really bad for the women who supported him—maybe because he made them feel really bad about themselves.

DONAHUE: Let me ask you something, you said you felt bad for the women. Is there one woman out there who you say they should have protected?

PETITO: Oh, sure. I do feel really bad for them, I’m sorry.

DONAHUE: I don’t think she’s going to like that you say that she should have been protected?

PETITO: No, I’m sorry. She’s going to laugh.

DONAHUE: Why did she choose to stand by him? Why did she defend him?

PETITO: She trusted him, she liked him. I mean he was charming. He was… he was brilliant. And she was so worried that, if she didn’t support him and defend him, would she lose her job and if she lost her job would she be known to her family? You know what I mean? Because we have lots of relatives and all of them had—all of them had bad marriages and divorces. And I just couldn’t believe this guy, I just couldn’t believe this guy!

DONAHUE: I just had to put this question to you, Gabby, to prove a point to you—he was there to go up against Brian Laundrie.

PETITO: He didn’t feel like he had any friends.

DONAHUE: In fact, he didn’t have anybody supporting him, and that he used his position of power to convince women that it was okay to put their trust in him. Is that what you meant, what you thought he did?

PETITO: Yes. And the behavior that he was exhibiting at that time—it was just, it was not right. I mean, you know, he was literally saying “That was sexual harassment,” or “That was harassment.” And my point is, that’s why, every day that he was there at the Senate, I thought, and a lot of people thought, “Why is he there?” Why did all these women fall for this, why did all these women fall for it?

DONAHUE: Gabby, were you afraid?

PETITO: I was very afraid, yes. You know, I had actually tried to ask one of the women directly, and she wouldn’t even take my call.

DONAHUE: Why not?

PETITO: Because she’s married. She’s married, she had two children. He was so clever, because he’s a politician, he’s a soiled man, and he’s a disgusting scum of the earth, but she doesn’t want anyone knowing, and she’s a married woman, and she doesn’t want to lose

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