Trump campaign manager: Rape ‘would not exist’ if women were stronger

Kellyanne Conway, president and chief executive officer of Polling Co. Inc./Woman Trend, speaks during an interview on "With All Due Respect" in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, July 5, 2016. (Chris Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway, president and chief executive officer of Polling Co. Inc./Woman Trend, speaks during an interview on "With All Due Respect" in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, July 5, 2016. (Chris Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump’s new campaign manager said “rape would not exist” if women and men had equal physical capabilities in a television appearance that has been resurfaced by critics who say Trump has a problem with women.

Kellyanne Conway, who was installed as Trump’s campaign manager earlier this month, made the remarks during a panel discussion on PBS’ “To the Contrary” in January 2013.

“If we were physiologically — not mentally, emotionally, professionally — equal to men, if we were physiologically as strong as men, rape would not exist,” Conway said. “You would be able to defend yourself and fight him off.”

The panel of women had been discussing women in the military and gender equality in combat. Conway brought up the analogy unprompted, using it as part of a statement about women’s physical capabilities in relation to men’s.

Later in the show, she went on to discuss the use of sexual assault as a weapon of war as a downside of women on the front lines.

Conway did not respond to a CNN request for clarification.