Trump calls charges ‘one big fix’
LOS ANGELES — Two California women came forward Friday to accuse Donald Trump of accosting them, the latest in a spate of sexual misconduct allegations buffeting the GOP presidential nominee.
Summer Zervos, a former contestant on “The Apprentice,” described darting around a Beverly Hills hotel bungalow to avoid Trump’s kisses and wandering hands in 2007.
Kristin Anderson, a one-time aspiring model, said Trump slipped his hand up her skirt and touched her vagina in a New York City nightclub in the early 1990s.
Both women said they decided to go public because of the emergence of a video last week where Trump describes how he could kiss women and grab their genitals without their consent because of his celebrity, assertions he later dismissed as “locker room talk.”
“You do not have a right to treat women as sexual objects just because you are a star,” Zervos said at a news conference.
They joined several other women who have publicly accused Trump of sexual misconduct since he said at Sunday night’s second presidential debate in St. Louis that he had never acted in the manner he described on the recording.
One said Trump slipped his hand up her skirt on an airplane, another said he kissed her without her consent at Trump Tower and two others described separate episodes at his Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida.
Trump angrily rebuffed all of the claims, dismissing the women as “sick” fameseekers. He implied that the woman who described the airplane encounter wasn’t attractive enough to warrant his attention.
“Believe me, she would not be my first GOP nominee Donald Trump denies the allegations made by Summer Zervos, a former contestant on “The Apprentice.” choice, that I can tell you,” he said at a campaign rally Friday in Greensboro, N.C.
Trump asserted the new revelations were a “setup” meant to hurt his bid for the presidency. As he has in recent days, he repeatedly suggested that forces were conspiring against him and his supporters.
“The whole thing is one big fix. It’s one big ugly lie. It’s one big fix,” he said.
Trump trained his ire on the media, particularly The New York Times, which published the first two accusers’ accounts this week.
In a new twist, he asserted billionaire and New York Times shareholder Carlos Slim was behind the negative media coverage. Bringing up the new foe in his speech, Trump repeated several times that Slim is from Mexico.
“Reporters at The New York Times are not journalists,” Trump said. “They’re corporate lobbyists for Carlos Slim and Hillary Clinton.”
Clinton, the Democratic nominee, pointed to the growing list of accusations against Trump.
“The disturbing stories keep coming,” she said, adding that they aren’t limited to his treatment of women and referred to Trump’s derogatory comments about Mexicans, Muslims and others.
Anderson told The Washington Post she was at a nightclub talking with friends, when she felt fingers moving up her inner thigh and touching her underwear over her vagina.
Anderson said she pushed the hand away and turned to look at who had touched her and recognized Trump.
“It’s a sexual assault issue, and it’s something that I’ve kept quiet on my own,” said Anderson, now 46 and a photographer. “And I’ve always kept quiet. And why should I keep quiet? Actually, all of the women should speak up, and if you’re touched inappropriately, tell somebody and speak up about it. Actually go to the authorities and press some charges. It’s not OK.”
Trump said Anderson’s account was not credible because he never sits alone at clubs.
Zervos, appearing shaken and her eyes welling with tears, said she contacted Trump in 2007 seeking a job. They met in NewYork, and he later called her, dubbed her his “O.C. angel” and proposed dinner during a planned trip to Los Angeles, she said.
Zervos said she was summoned to the Beverly Hills Hotel, where she expected to eat at a restaurant.
Instead, she was ushered to Trump’s bungalow. Trump tried to kiss her with an open mouth repeatedly, put his hand on her breast and thrust his genitals at her, Zervos said.
“Dude, you’re tripping right now,” Zervos said she told Trump.
Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, promised the campaign would soon release evidence against the women.
“It’s coming in, frankly, probably in a matter of hours,” Pence said Friday morning on NBC’s “Today” Show.