More Trump sex al­le­ga­tions

Women de­scribe to news­pa­pers in­ci­dents of un­wanted kiss­ing, grop­ing

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD - By Sean Sul­li­van The As­so­ci­ated Press con­trib­uted to this ar­ti­cle.

Three women ac­cused Don­ald Trump of grop­ing or kiss­ing them with­out their con­sent in news re­ports pub­lished Wednes­day, days after the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee in­sisted in a de­bate that he had never en­gaged in such be­hav­ior.

One of the women al­leges that Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt dur­ing a flight more than three decades ago, The New York Times re­ported. An­other says he kissed her on the mouth out­side an el­e­va­tor in 2005, ac­cord­ing to the same re­port. A third woman said Trump groped her rear end at his Mar-a-Lago re­sort 13 years ago, the Palm Beach Post re­ported.

Trump de­nied the first two al­le­ga­tions in an in­ter­view with The Times. In a state­ment is­sued by his cam­paign after the re­port was pub­lished, spokesman Ja­son Miller said, “This en­tire ar­ti­cle is fic­tion.” Trump spokes­woman Hope Hicks told the Palm Beach Post that “there is no truth” to the third al­le­ga­tion.

But in each in­stance, the news­pa­pers spoke to peo­ple close to the women — in­clud­ing friends, fam­ily mem­bers, sig­nif­i­cant oth­ers and col­leagues — who ver­i­fied that they told them their sto­ries months or years ago about what they say hap­pened.

The news came five days after The Wash­ing­ton Post re­ported Fri­day on a 2005 video in which Trump can be heard mak­ing vul­gar com­ments on a hot mi­cro­phone about phys­i­cally forc­ing him­self on women sex­u­ally.

At Sun­day’s de­bate, Trump was asked by a mod­er­a­tor whether he had ever be­haved in such a way. “No, I have not,” he re­sponded. Separately, CBS News on Wednes­day re­ported on 1992 footage filmed for “En­ter­tain­ment Tonight” in which Trump is heard com­ment­ing about a young girl, “I’m go­ing to be dat­ing her in 10 years.”

Jes­sica Leeds, 74, told The Times that she sat be­side Trump in the first-class cabin of a flight to New York when she was 38. She didn’t know him. Leeds said Trump groped her and tried to reach up her skirt. “His hands were ev­ery­where,” she said.

The sec­ond woman, Rachel Crooks, was at the time a 22-year-old re­cep­tion­ist at a real es­tate com­pany in Trump Tower who said she came face to face with Trump Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump and his cam­paign em­phat­i­cally de­nied the con­duct women ac­cused him of in re­ports pub­lished Wednes­day. out­side an el­e­va­tor there in 2005. She said that after she in­tro­duced her­self to Trump and they shook hands, he would not let go, then kissed her cheeks and “kissed me di­rectly on the mouth.”

“I was so up­set that he thought I was so in­signif­i­cant that he could do that,” she said.

Nei­ther Crooks nor Leeds re­ported their in­ci­dents to the au­thor­i­ties. But The Times quotes Leeds’ neigh­bor, Crooks’ boyfriend at the time and her sis­ter, each of whom­said that the women pre­vi­ously told them about their al­leged en­coun­ters with Trump.

Mindy McGil­livray, 36, told the Palm Beach Post that Trump groped her rear end at Mar-a-Lago in 2003 when she was there ac­com­pa­ny­ing a pho­tog­ra­pher friend who was shoot­ing a Ray Charles con­cert.

“All of a sud­den, I felt a grab, a lit­tle nudge. I think it’s Ken’s cam­era bag, that was my first in­stinct. I turn around and there’s Don­ald. He sort of looked away quickly. I quickly turned back, fac­ing Ray Charles, and I’m stunned,” she said.

“Ken” is Ken David­off, the pho­tog­ra­pher, with whom the pa­per also spoke. David­off said he did not wit­ness the al­leged in­ci­dent but re­called that McGil­livray told him about it right after it hap­pened.

In a Tues­day phone in­ter­view with The Times, Trump de­nied the claims made by Leeds and Crooks.

“None of this ever took place,” he said. As a re­porter ques­tioned him about the women’s claims, he told her: “You are a dis­gust­ing hu­man be­ing,” ac­cord­ing to The Times.

Miller, in his state­ment, ac­cused The Times of a “com­pletely false, co­or­di­nated char­ac­ter as­sas­si­na­tion” against Trump. He called it a “po­lit­i­cal at­tack.”

Jen­nifer Palmieri, com­mu­ni­ca­tions direc­tor for Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton’s cam­paign, said the re­ports show Trump lied on the de­bate stage on Sun­day.

“This dis­turb­ing story sadly fits ev­ery­thing we know about the way Don­ald Trump has treated women. These re­ports sug­gest that he lied on the de­bate stage and that the dis­gust­ing be­hav­ior he bragged about in the tape is more than just words,” Jes­sica Leeds told The New York Times that Don­ald Trump fon­dled her dur­ing an air­plane flight more than 30 years ago. Palmieri said in a state­ment Wednes­day night.

In the “En­ter­tain­ment Tonight” footage re­ported by CBS News, Trump can be heard ask­ing a young girl at Trump Tower, “You go­ing up the es­ca­la­tor?” “Yeah,” she re­sponds. “I’m go­ing to be dat­ing her in 10 years, can you be­lieve it?” Trump is heard say­ing.

The Trump cam­paign did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment on the CBS re­port.

In Florida, Trump high­lighted a new batch of hacked emails pur­port­edly from Clin­ton cam­paign man­ager John Podesta’s ac­count, pub­lished by Wik­iLeaks, the anti-se­crecy group.

Trump’s cam­paign called on Clin­ton to apol­o­gize and fire se­nior cam­paign of­fi­cials in­volved in an email ex­change that Repub­li­cans con­demned as “breath­tak­ing an­tiCatholic big­otry.”

The April 2011 email ex­change de­tails a con­ver­sa­tion between cur­rent Palmieri and John Halpin, of the Cen­ter for Amer­i­can Progress, a Demo­cratic think tank with close ties to the Clin­ton cam­paign.

Halpin wrote that “the most pow­er­ful el­e­ments of the con­ser­va­tive move­ment are all Catholic.”

He de­scribed their po­si­tions as “an amaz­ing bas­tardiza­tion of the faith.”

GER­ARDO MORA/GETTY

JULIE JA­COB­SON/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

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