Watch two GOP women strategists put Rob Porter assault scandal directly on Trump


Two Republican women who worked for Ted Cruz say Trump himself is the root of the problem.

The revelation that Donald Trump aide Rob Porter violently assaulted two ex-wives, but retained his job and access to everything on the Oval Office desk despite key White House officials knowing for months he had failed a background check and was ineligible for security clearance, has once again thrown the administration into crisis.

And even a number of Republican commentators are now beginning to admit that Trump himself is the root of the problem.

On CNN’s "New Day," Amanda Carpenter, a former staffer to Sen. Ted Cruz, slammed Trump for creating a culture of disrespect for women.

“Yeah, the takeaway here is, beating your wife is not disqualifying to work in the White House,” she told hosts Alisyn Camerota and John Harwood. “And should we be surprised? No, because it is the job requirement to go defend the man who talked about sexual assault on the Access Hollywood tapes. This is a job qualification to be a professional spokesperson of the Republican Party to go and defend Roy Moore. How much more evidence do we need that the head of the Republican Party, Donald Trump, does not give a whit about the abuse of women?”

“This comes from the top,” she went on. “I mean, I feel like we dance around all of these subjects, and to be able to talk about this in an honest way requires talking about uncomfortable things. Like, perhaps, the rape allegation from his first wife ... like, perhaps, the disgusting way he talks about Ivanka Trump to Howard Stern. Like the fact that he profited and made money by parading young women in his strip clubs and casinos.”

“There’s a pattern here,” she said. “But because these subjects are so uncomfortable, I think we don’t talk about them and they continue to fester.”

Later on "New Day," Alice Stewart, who served as the Cruz presidential campaign’s communications director, made the same point.

“A lot of people are putting blinders on when it comes to this,” said Stewart. “The problem with that is, if you continue to sweep your dirty laundry under the rug, you’re going to trip over it. And they’ve tripped over it big-time here.”

“More importantly, what did John Kelly know, the chief of staff, what did the president know? And when did they know it?” she asked. “There’s a history, and there’s a pattern with this White House with regard to domestic abuse and with sexual harassment. You go down the whole laundry list of this administration. We’re talking about Roy Moore, Corey Lewansowski, Steve Bannon, the president himself, and now Rob Porter.”

“There’s a history of, of denying this, trying to downplay it, they — they denigrate the women and defend the men. And that is extremely disturbing,” she added.

Carpenter and Stewart both have their finger on the pulse of a problem that their party has willfully chosen to ignore: that it is impossible to have an ethical administration without an ethical president.

The executive branch has been hobbled because it lacks the basic moral legitimacy to do its job. And until Trump is gone, that will not change.