Trump calls charges ‘one big fix’

Baltimore Sun - - ELECTION 2016 - By Seema Me­hta and Me­lanie Ma­son

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.

MIKE NEL­SON/EPA

EVAN VUCCI/AP

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