Politics

Three More Women Have Come Forward About Trump Allegedly Touching Them Inappropriately

October 12th 2016

By:
Tricia Tongco

During the second presidential debate, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump stressed his leaked audio tape comments were merely "locker room talk" and "just words," denying he ever took action.

Two women sitting at their respective homes watched the Republican nominee make those statements on television, The New York Times reported. Following the debate, they reached out to The Times with their previously non-public allegations of Trump inappropriately touching them without their consent.

Jessica Leeds claimed to The Times that she met Trump when she, a traveling businesswoman, was seated next to him in first class on a flight to New York more than 30 years ago. In the interview she claimed that Trump lifted up the armrest between them, then allegedly proceeded to grab her breasts and attempted to put his hand up her skirt. In a video interview with The Times, Leeds claimed:

“It was a real shock when all of a sudden his hands were all over me. He started encroaching on my space…He was like an octopus. It was like he had six arms – he was all over the place."

In the interview, she claimed she fled to coach and did not alert any of the flight staff, because during the 1970s and 1980s, women were taught unwanted sexual advances from men were their fault. While Leeds did not contact the authorities, she did recount the alleged sexual assault to four people close to her, who all spoke with The Times.

Another woman, Rachel Crooks, was angered by Trump's claims of never touching women inappropriately, and she subsequently told her allegations to The Times as well. According to the Times, Crooks allegedly encountered Trump outside of the elevators when she was a 22-year-old receptionist at Bayrock Group working in Trump Tower. From The Times:

"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.'"

Crooks claimed she immediately called and told her sister, Brianne Webb, who had assured her that it was "not normal," according to The Times.

When called for comment a "highly agitated" Trump denied the women's claims, The Times reported.

"'None of this ever took place,' said Mr. Trump, who began shouting at The Times reporter who was questioning him. He said that The Times was making up the allegations to hurt him and that he would sue the news organization if it reported them.

"'You are a disgusting human being,' he told the reporter as she questioned him about the women’s claims."

In a press release, Trump’s senior communications adviser, Jason Miller, wrote:

"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."

A woman named Mindy McGillivray from Florida, who alleges Trump groped her at his Mar-a-Lago resort in 2003, reached out separately to The Palm Beach Post and Hillary Clinton campaign. (She's not registered with either party, but says she'll vote for Clinton, according to the Post.)  She told The Palm Beach Post details about when Trump allegedly grabbed her butt. "All of a sudden I felt a grab, a little nudge," she claimed. "I think it’s Ken’s [her photographer friend] camera bag, that was my first instinct. I turn around and there’s Donald. He sort of looked away quickly. I quickly turned back...and I’m stunned."

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told The Washington Post regarding McGillivray's allegations, “There is no truth to this whatsoever. …This allegation lacks any merit or veracity.” 

These claims are part of a long history of accusations of Trump allegedly sexually assaulting women. Temple Taggart claimed to The Times that Trump introduced himself during a beauty pageant by kissing her directly on the mouth, which she deemed "inappropriate." The Times also extensively reported on Jill Harth's sexual harassment lawsuit against Trump, in which she alleges he groped her and attempted to force himself on her while at his Mar-a-Lago estate. Trump has denied these allegations. Just prior to publication of this article on Wednesday, People Magazine also published allegations of sexual assault, which the Trump campaign denied to the publication. ATTN: has not been able independently confirm the above accounts.

In an unearthed 2005 recording of Trump speaking to then "Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush, Trump said, "I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything....Grab them by the p---y. You can do anything."

In light of the controversy over the tape, The Times points out that salvaging his campaign relies heavily on whether voters believe his claims that those comments were "just words" and accusations against him are false.

ATTN: reached out to Trump's campaign for comment and will update with their response. 

Read the full story from The New York Times here.