POLITICS

Donald Trump: Herman Cain Is The Target Of An 'Ugly Witch Hunt'

11/03/2011 11:34 am ET | Updated Jan 03, 2012

Donald Trump weighed in on reports of Herman Cain's record of sexual harassment allegations Wednesday in an interview with Fox News, suggesting that the GOP presidential candidate was being unjustly hounded by the media based on claims that may not have merit.

"I think it's a very ugly witch hunt and I think it's very unfair. You say, 'Oh, hello, darling, how are you?' And you get sued because you've destroyed somebody's life. It's ridiculous. And I think it's very unfair to him. And unless there's something that we're not seeing -- meaning you, I, and everybody else -- I think it's a very unfair situation," Trump told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren.

Van Susteren then spoke about the complications of having anonymous accusers behind the allegations and said she could understand why they wouldn't want to come forward. Trump disagreed, however, and suggested that the women wanted the attention.

"They probably do love their names splashed across the front pages. And frankly, I think that's not a good situation and I don't think it's a fair situation," Trump said.

"And I think Herman should take very, very strong action, even if he has to bring a major lawsuit against the women," Trump continued. "[I]f I were Herman and if these things turned out to be false or inaccurate, I would bring a major lawsuit against the women that are saying it."

Three women have so far alleged that Herman Cain made inappropriate sexual remarks and gestures during his tenure as head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s. The two women who filed formal complaints received settlements, while a third was recently contacted by the Associated Press as part of its investigation into Cain's conduct.

Cain has been anything but consistent in his explanation of the incidents, and much of his campaign's focus has turned to accusing primary rival Rick Perry's camp of leaking the story.

As the Associated Press reports:

The finger-pointing came as Cain fought to contain the fallout of the allegations that were made public just two months before the leadoff Iowa caucuses and with polls showing him near the top of the pack national and in early voting states. The allegations -- and Cain's shifting answers to questions about them since they were first disclosed -- threaten to undermine a campaign that many establishment Republicans long have viewed as a long-shot to win the party's presidential nomination.

The Perry campaign has denied that it had anything to do with sparking the firestorm now burning in Cain's campaign.

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