POLITICS
09/07/2016 10:30 pm ET Updated Sep 08, 2016

Donald Trump Defends His Awful Claim About Military Sexual Assault

He previously argued having women serve alongside men in the military increased the likelihood of assault.

Donald Trump said Wednesday he was “correct” in 2013 to blame sexual assault in the military on men and women serving together in the armed forces. 

In 2013, the Pentagon released data illustrating the sharp rise in reports of sexual assault in the military. Trump tweeted his thoughts on the matter, arguing the problem was a result of women serving alongside men:

When NBC’s Matt Lauer asked Trump about his claim during the network’s Commander-In-Chief forum, the GOP presidential nominee stood by it.

“It is a correct tweet. There are many people that think that’s absolutely correct,” Trump said.

Lauer then asked if Trump if he believes “the only way to fix it is to take women out of the military,” but the candidate largely dodged the question. 

“No, not to kick them out, but something has to happen.” Trump said. “Right now, part of the problem is nobody gets prosecuted. ... When you have somebody that does something so evil, so bad as that, there has to be consequence for that person. You have to go after that person. Right now, nobody is doing anything. Look at the small number of results. That’s part of the problem.” 

In 2015, Trump said there are “major problems” with women serving in combat roles, and linked the incidence of rape in the military to the issue. 

“You’re in there and you’re fighting and you’re sitting next to a woman ... Now they want to be politically correct. They want to do it but there are major problems. And, as you know, there are many people that think this shouldn’t be done, at a high level,” Trump told CBS News. “I can say this, the numbers of rapes in the military are through the roof. Through the roof.”

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

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