More Trump sex allegations
Women describe to newspapers incidents of unwanted kissing, groping
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.”