Although Trump’s Cabinet nominees have met with some opposition, several have already been confirmed, including Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary and Steve Mnuchin for Treasury (here’s a stock photo of the latter, a former Goldman Sachs banker.) But fears that the confirmations would be rubber-stamped by the Senate might be allayed somewhat by recent developments. For example, it hasn’t been a smooth ride for Andrew Puzder, the Carl’s Jr. CEO and Trump’s Labor Secretary pick. There have been multiple protests that have pulled the double duty of boosting support for the living wage campaign, while also denouncing Puzder’s nomination. Now some domestic abuse allegations have resurfaced, along with an unearthed video from an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Politico shared the video of Lisa Fierstein, Puzder’s ex-wife, who appeared on Oprah along with other women who alleged they’d been battered by their wealthy or high-profile spouses. In the clip below, Fierstein—who sat on stage in disguise—tells Winfrey and her audience about Puzder’s abuse and threats.
“I will see you in the gutter. This will never be over. You will pay for this,” Fierstein claims Puzder told her upon their divorce.
Politico first reported on the allegations back in January and even mentioned the tape, but didn’t get a copy of it until this week. Fierstein originally made the allegations when she petitioned the court in 1988, a document that’s also been obtained by Politico. But less than a year later, Fierstein retracted the claims she made in the Oprah appearance. The White House has not commented on the video, but a spokesperson for Puzder and Fierstein issued a statement in which he said that Fierstein, Puzder, and his current wife “are close friends today and often spend time together,” though he doesn’t think “that context seems to matter to Andy’s critics. Perpetuating these retracted 30-year-old allegations and an impulsive decision to appear on a talk show is nothing more than a desperate attempt to tarnish Andy Puzder at the expense of Lisa and their family.”
UPDATE: The Hill reports that Andrew Puzder is expected to withdraw his nomination for Labor Secretary. The publication cites multiple outlets, including NBC News and, in case the prez is reading this and calling bullshit, Fox News.