Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently stated that she believed all rape survivors should be believed without question, tweeting –
“To every survivor of sexual assault…You have the right to be heard. You have the right to be believed. We’re with you.” —Hillary
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 14, 2015
That comment came back to bite her at a recent town hall meeting, where a woman reminded Clinton of her statement and then asked, “Would you say that about Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, and/or Paula Jones?”
The comment brought back the scandal of 1999, when Juanita Broaddrick went on Dateline NBC and alleged that former President Bill Clinton had raped her in an Arkansas hotel room in the spring of 1978.
“Well, I would say that everybody should be believed at first until they are disbelieved based on evidence,” Clinton quickly responded, then folded her hands on her lap and smiled.
Broaddirck was named as Jane Doe Number 5 in the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit against Clinton in 1999. She said she had not initially come forward with allegations that Clinton had assaulted her because she was afraid “no one would believe her.” But she did tell close confidantes at the time about the attack and reportedly suffered injuries.
Kathleen Willey, a former White House volunteer, also accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault in 1993.
The question came during a Clinton town hall campaign event in New Hampshire.
Clinton has made women’s rights a central theme of her campaign. Unlike during her 2008 presidential campaign, when Clinton shied away from focusing heavily on her gender, she often touts her potential to make history as the nation’s first female president on the campaign trail.
The Associated Press contributed to this story