Donald Trump suggested New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman would be the next in a line of Democratic New York politicians to end his career in disgrace, more than four years before Schneiderman resigned Monday, hours after allegations he physically abused four women went public.
In September 2013, real estate mogul Donald Trump tweeted that his followers should “wait and see,” because Schneiderman was worse than either his predecessor, Attorney General (and later Governor) Elliot Spitzer, or Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY – both of whom were forced to resign after being caught in high profile sex scandals.
Weiner is gone, Spitzer is gone – next will be lightweight A.G. Eric Schneiderman. Is he a crook? Wait and see, worse than Spitzer or Weiner
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2013
The prediction proved uncanny Monday when the New Yorker magazine’s Ronan Farrow, the man who broke the Harvey Weinstein scandal wide open, and fellow reporter Jane Mayer, published a bombshell report in which four women accused Schneiderman of violently brutalizing them in sexual and other situations over a number of years. After first issuing a statement claiming all his actions were consensual, Schneiderman announced he would resign – less than four hours after the New Yorker posted the piece – effective Tuesday.
Schneiderman and Trump had a long and contentious history. At the time of Trump’s tweet, Schneiderman was in the midst of directing a state lawsuit against Trump for his failed Trump Univsersity venture. A judge eventually ruled Trump personally liable for violations of New York education laws and the case became a major liability for candidate Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
After Trump’s election as president, Schneiderman positioned himself as a “resistance” leader against his old foe. In a November 2017 appearance on Comedy Central’s Full Frontal, for example, he described himself, along with other state attorneys genera, as “the first line of defense” against Trump, touting legal victories he had won to frustrate the Trump agenda. Host Samantha Bee obliged, depiciting Schneiderman as a comic book “superhero” waging a campaign to “lead us out of the darkness” that is the Trump presidency:
— Full Frontal (@FullFrontalSamB) November 9, 2017
The day before Trump’s 2013 tweet, Anthony Weiner’s political comeback attempt decisively failed after the second of a series of “sexting” scandals first uncovered by Breitbart News founder Andrew Breitbart led to a disastrous fifth-place showing in New York City’s Democratic mayoral primary. He would later be convicted of transmitting obscene material to a minor when he repeated the same behavior with a 15-year-old in 2016.
Spitzer, on the same day, lost his own bid to revive his political career when he was defeated in the Democratic primary of New York City Comptroller. Spitzer had been forced to resign the governorship of New York in 2008, after it became clear he used campaign funds to pay for hotel rooms where he met high-dollar prostitutes, who knew him as “Client 9,” on multiple occasions. He avoided criminal charges and was later given hosting jobs at CNN and MSNBC.
After Monday’s revelations, Schneiderman joins the ranks of senior New York Democrats to resign in scandal, and President Trump’s 2013 tweet appears prophetic.