A decades-old video of an episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in which President Donald Trump’s Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder’s former wife leveled allegations of physical abuse against him has been provided to senators in a Capitol Hill office building. Senators in both parties have viewed the episode, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The video was provided by the Oprah Winfrey Network, those sources said, Politico reported.
“I’ve arranged for senators on the committee to see that … I thought that was a reasonable request. No reason not to see it,” said Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). “That happened 27 years ago. His former wife has said it was all not true. She has reiterated that in a heartfelt letter to members of the committee and has been willing to talk to members of the committee so I don’t think that’s an issue. “
The episode, called “High-Class Battered Women,” aired in March, 1990, according to the report.
Alexander, a Republican, said he supports Puzder’s nomination. But Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the top Democrat on the HELP Committee that will vote on Puzder’s nomination, said she was “deeply troubled” by the video.
“It was important for us to know all of the information about any candidate that comes before us,” Murray said in an interview.
The abuse allegations are only one of the controversies dogging Puzder. His nomination was rocked last week after his spokesman said he had employed an undocumented immigrant for years. The fast-food executive also apprenticed to a Mafia-connected lawyer early in his career, drew criticism for conditions for workers at his CKE restaurant chain and faced accusations of sexism over advertisements showing bikini-clad women eating his company’s hamburgers.
GOP leaders said that they were confident Puzder would prevail regardless of the swirl of controversy around him. Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer has called on Trump to withdraw Puzder’s nomination, but Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said the nomination was “all good.”
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