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Did Elizabeth Warren Just Call Her Fellow Senator a Slut?

On Tuesday morning, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) defended her fellow senator, Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y), from President Trump. In doing so, however, she used a term that should raise quite a few eyebrows.

"Are you really trying to bully, intimidate and slut-shame Sen. Gillibrand?" Warren tweeted. "Do you know who you're picking a fight with? Good luck with that, Donald Trump. Nevertheless, she persisted."

Warren's tweet came after Trump attacked Gillibrand for siding with the sixteen women who accused Trump of sexually assaulting them.

"Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office “begging” for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump," the president tweeted Tuesday morning. "Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!"

Warren — and The Washington Post — interpreted Trump's reference to "begging" as sexually suggestive, in the context of the sexual assault allegations against the president. They may or may not be, however.

On Monday, following a press conference with three of the women who accused Trump of assaulting them, Gillibrand declared that the president should resign.

"President Trump should resign. But, of course, he won't hold himself accountable. Therefore, Congress should investigate the multiple sexual harassment and assault allegations against him," the senator tweeted.

At the press conference Monday, the accusers called for a congressional investigation into claims of sexual assault against the president, and lamented that Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) had announced his resignation while Trump had not.

Warren's defense of Gillibrand proved fiery and will likely appeal to her feminist base. Her use of the term "slut-shaming," however, should raise questions. Was Warren calling Gillibrand a "slut," even as she intended to defend her?

The term "slut-shaming" refers to the practice of criticizing women for their seeming violations of cultural expectations when it comes to appearance and behavior. The term has been used to defend women dressing in sexually provocative ways, demanding birth control funded by the federal government, having promiscuous sex, and even engaging in prostitution.

The term has also been associated with blaming the victim of sexual assault — be it for how she dressed or comported herself.