LeadershipBroadsheetDiversity and InclusionCareersVenture Capital

The history of Donald Trump’s insults to women

August 9, 2015, 11:40 PM UTC
Republican Presidential Candidates Address 2015 Family Leadership Summit
Republican presidential hopeful businessman Donald Trump fields questions at The Family Leadership Summit at Stephens Auditorium on July 18, 2015 in Ames, Iowa.
Photograph by Scott Olson — Getty Images

How has Donald Trump insulted women? Let us count just some of the ways.

In 2012, he tweeted that Arianna Huffington “is unattractive both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man—he made a good decision.”

On Celebrity Apprentice: All-Stars in 2013, he mused about the “pretty picture” of former Playboy Playmate Brande Roderick “dropping to your knees.”

He called opposing counsel in a deposition “disgusting” for wanting to break to pump milk for her 3-month-old daughter.

In his book, How to Get Rich, he wrote: “All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me—consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.”

In a 1991 Esquire interview, he said: “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of [expletive].”

Most famously, in a 2006 feud involving Miss USA, he called Rosie O’Donnell an “animal,” an “extremely unattractive person,” and a “slob.”

And now, of course, comes his attack on Fox News host and debate moderator Megyn Kelly (full disclosure: I’m a Fox News contributor.) The war of words started after Kelly asked whether his descriptions of various women (“pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals”) suggested that Trump didn’t have the temperament to be president.


All this escalated Friday with his comment to CNN about Kelly: “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes–blood coming out of her wherever.” As if the suggestion that her menstrual state was behind Kelly’s tough questioning wasn’t enough, Trump also retweeted a comment calling her a “bimbo” (later deleted) and called her a “lightweight.”

Trump made the rounds of the Sunday talk shows to deny that his blood comment was a reference to the Fox host’s hormonal state. “There’s nothing to apologize [for],” Mr. Trump said Sunday on the NBC News program Meet the Press. “I was referring to nose, ears. They’re very common statements. And only a deviant would think of what people said.”

Nevertheless some conservative leaders who had previously cut Trump some slack have now declared the flirtation with his candidacy over. Influential RedState leader Erik Erickson disinvited Trump from his Atlanta candidate forum Saturday. “I just don’t want someone on stage who gets a hostile question from a lady and his first inclination is to imply it was hormonal,” Erickson wrote on the RedState website Friday night. “It just was wrong.”

And GOP candidate Carly Fiorina, the only woman in the GOP field, tweeted:

That, of course, drew a nasty rebuke from the real estate mogul denouncing her “disastrous” tenure as Hewlett-Packard’s CEO.

Republicans have been nervous about this guy from the start. Despite his crass insults against targets ranging from Mexican immigrants to war hero John McCain, he has a strong base of GOP supporters, consistently topping the polls. Conservative supporters have looked the other way when it comes his multiple marriages and dalliances with Democrats (during the debate he boasted that Hillary Clinton “had to come to my wedding” because of his donations to the Clinton Foundation.)

[fortune-brightcove videoid=3826528594001]


Did Trump go a step too far in taking on conservative icon Megyn Kelly? A Republican Party that needs to improve its standing with women and Hispanics in order to capture the White House in 2016 should certainly hope so.

“I don’t want my daughter in the room with Donald Trump tonight, so he’s not invited,” RedState’s Erickson told his gathering. “If our standard-bearer has to resort to that, then we need a new standard-bearer.”

Well said.

Subscribe to The Broadsheet, Fortune’s daily newsletter on the world’s most powerful women.