Waleed Aly has slammed Donald Trump and called him out for sexual assault, but The Project co-host has also blamed the media – including himself – for laughing the Republican candidate off as a joke.
In a lengthy rebuke against the billionaire and Republican presidential nominee during Monday’s ‘Something We Need to Talk About’ segment, Aly launched a “#TrumpIsNoLaughingMatter” campaign.
His monologue came in response to Saturday’s release of damning footage showing Trump joking and making vulgar comments about sexually assaulting women.
In the video, released by the Washington Post over the weekend, Trump discusses candidly his desires for women and brags that when you’re a “star” you can “do anything”.
“The tape allowed us to hear what Donald Trump sounds like when he’s literally behind closed doors,” Waleed said.
“That is sexual assault. And this is the moment — this is the moment that everything we’ve suspected about Donald Trump was confirmed.
“Behind closed doors, there is everything that makes our stomachs turn, the predatory nature, the privilege, the sexism, the double standards, the sinister motivation.”
“We have spent the last 15 months since Trump announced he was running for president laughing at him. It seemed the only appropriate response for someone so ludicrous, and sure satire can be an effective tool,” Waleed said.
“By treating Trump like a clown, we failed to recognise him as a potential president.”
Walled also included a dig at One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, who supported Trump – even after the video revelations.
“What he said was vulgar, I don’t support it whatsoever,” Hanson said on Sunrise. “It was said not on camera. It was said behind the scenes and it was a tape recording. Let’s be honest about it, there are a lot of men out that say horrific things.”
To which Waleed responded: “Yeah, and we wouldn’t want those guys to be the most powerful person on the planet either. This is a man who, when he thinks no one can hear him, boasts about sexual assault.”
Despite Trump delivering an onslaught of offensive comments during his Presidential race, the public isn’t excusing the latest lewd remarks while a number of Republicans have withdrawn their endorsements for the Republican candidate.
“We have spent the last 15 months since Trump announced he was running for President laughing at him,” Waleed said.
“It seemed the only appropriate response for someone so ludicrous, and sure satire can be an effective tool to reveal the limitations of our political leaders. But the problem in this case is that we have been laughing when we should have been taking a breath.”
The Project co-host said the media needs to broaden its thinking, analysis and reporting as the past 15 months have failed to hold Trump accountable.
“You deserve better than that and we need to own up to that. Donald Trump hasn’t been a laughing matter for a long time,” Waleed said.
“So we’re making this commitment — between now and the election, no more jokes about Trump, because sexism is no laughing matter. And racism is no laughing matter. And inciting violence is no laughing matter.
“Sexual assault is no laughing matter and for those reasons and sadly many more, Donald Trump is no laughing matter.”
Watch the full video here: