Trump touched us inappropriately, two women tell New York Times

Two women accused Donald Trump of inappropriate touching in a story posted on the New York Times website on Wednesday, accusations his spokesman called “fiction” but which may further damage the Republican presidential nominee's campaign with only four weeks to go until the Nov. 8 election.

One of the women, Jessica Leeds, appeared on camera to recount how Trump grabbed her and tried to put his hand up her skirt in the first class cabin on a flight to New York in or around 1980.

The second woman, Rachel Crooks, described how Trump “kissed me directly on the mouth” in 2005 outside the elevator in Trump Tower in Manhattan, where she was a receptionist at a real estate firm. Trump’s campaign denied there was any truth to the accounts and a senior adviser told Reuters that Trump is preparing a lawsuit against the New York Times.

“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,” the Trump campaign’s senior communications adviser Jason Miller said in a statement. Reuters could not independently verify the incidents described in the New York Times story. Leeds and Crooks did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Reuters.

More reports surface

“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,” said Jennifer Palmieri, a spokeswoman for the Clinton campaign. Trump’s assertion that he had not groped women spurred one of the women to speak out, the New York Times said in its report.

Neither of the women reported the episodes to authorities, but they did tell friends and family members about the inappropriate touching, according to the New York Times report, which included accounts of some who were told about the incidents.

The New York Times reported that Trump, in an angry phone call, denied the incidents and threatened to sue the newspaper. “We stand by the story, which falls clearly into the realm of public service journalism,” a New York Times spokeswoman said.

In the hour immediately following the publication of the New York Times story, other media outlets published reports describing other incidents. The Palm Beach Post reported a claim by Mindy McGillivray, 36, a woman in South Florida, that Trump had grabbed her bottom 13 years ago while she was working at his Mar a Lago estate as a photographer’s assistant.

Colossal ‘waste of time’

Donald Trump cast the US presidential race in stark personal terms Wednesday, telling voters that if he loses against Hillary Clinton it will be the “single greatest waste” of his time and money. The billionaire reminded supporters that he will have spent some $100 million of his own fortune on his campaign.

“If I don’t win on November 8th, I will consider this the single greatest waste of time, of energy and money,” the Republican nominee told the crowd. “We’ll not be able to reduce your taxes, or save your Second Amendment and appoint Supreme Court justices, and take care of your vets and fix up your very depleted” military, he said.

(With AFP inputs)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48
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