Two women have come forward in interviews with the New York Times saying that Donald Trump groped them inappropriately.
Jessica Leeds (in the video above) says Trump groped her on a flight to New York more than 30 years ago. Another, Rachel Crooks, says he forced a kiss on her in 2005:
Aware that her company did business with Mr. Trump, she turned and introduced herself. They shook hands, but Mr. Trump would not let go, she said. Instead, he began kissing her cheeks. Then, she said, he “kissed me directly on the mouth.”
It didn’t feel like an accident, she said. It felt like a violation.
“It was so inappropriate,” Ms. Crooks recalled in an interview. “I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that.”
Leeds said she felt compelled to tell her story after hearing Trump claim that he had never actually assaulted a woman. Crooks felt the same way:
“People should know,” she said of Mr. Trump, “this behavior is pervasive and it is real.”
Trump’s campaign has released a statement:
“This entire article is fiction, and for the New York Times to launch a completely false, coordinated character assassination against Mr. Trump on a topic like this is dangerous. To reach back decades in an attempt to smear Mr. Trump trivializes sexual assault, and it sets a new low for where the media is willing to go in its efforts to determine this election.
“It is absurd to think that one of the most recognizable business leaders on the planet with a strong record of empowering women in his companies would do the things alleged in this story, and for this to only become public decades later in the final month of a campaign for president should say it all.
“Further, the Times story buries the pro-Clinton financial and social media activity on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, reinforcing that this truly is nothing more than a political attack. This is a sad day for the Times.”
Trump campaign attacks the New York Times for doing exactly what the Trump campaign has been doing to Bill Clinton pic.twitter.com/yuTSLUXO99
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) October 12, 2016
Also, Miss Washington 2013 says Trump groped her:
According to Yahoo! News, Cassandra Searles made aFacebook post about her time on the Miss USA pageant, where she calls Trump a “misogynist” who “treated us like cattle.”
According to Rolling Stone, Searles added in a comment on her initial post’s thread, “He probably doesn’t want me telling the story about that time he continually grabbed my ass and invited me to his hotel room.”