us elections 2016

The growing allegations against Trump

Reports come as Republican grapples with the fallout from media report of a 2005 video

13:51 October 13, 2016
Donald Trump

Donald Trump has been hit with a series of new allegations over the last 24 hours about his treatment of women — including multiple accusations of unwanted groping in stories reported Wednesday evening.

The reports come as Trump grapples with the fallout from a Friday Washington Post report of a 2005 video in which he speaks in lewd and sexually aggressive terms about women. Those comments — and Trump’s remarks about them at Sunday night’s debate — reportedly spurred some of these women to speak up.

They also come as a newly discovered Entertainment Tonight video from 1992 shows Trump speaking about a young girl and saying, “I am going to be dating her in 10 years. Can you believe it?”

Here’s a brief recap of the most recent developments:

Jessica Leeds

The Times quotes two women by name as saying Trump touched them inappropriately.

Jessica Leeds told the Times that Trump sexually assaulted her on an aeroplane more than 30 years ago. She said he was seated next to her in first class, reached over and began groping her.

According to Leeds, Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt.

“He was like an octopus,” she said. “His hands were everywhere.”

She fled to the back of the plane. “It was an assault,” she said.

Rachel Crooks

Rachel Crooks, in a separate allegation reported in the same story, said she was working as a receptionist for a company in Trump Tower in 2005 when she encountered Trump outside of an elevator.

They shook hands, but 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,” Crooks recalled in an interview. “I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that.”

Crooks’ sister, Brianne Webb, recalls that Crooks called her immediately after the encounter and was shaken up. Webb said she pressed Crooks on whether it might have been an accident.

“She said, ‘No, he kissed me on the mouth,’” Webb said. “I was like, ‘That is not normal.’”

The Trump campaign has issued a statement denying both accounts, accusing the Times of coordinating an attack with Hillary Clinton’s campaign. “None of this ever took place,” Trump told a Times reporter on Tuesday night, threatening to sue. “You are a disgusting human being.”

Mindy McGillivray

Mindy McGillivray told the Palm Beach Post that Trump groped her at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort 13 years ago.

She said she was in an area alongside Trump and his then-fiancee Melania at an event featuring Ray Charles when Trump grabbed her.

“All of a sudden I felt a grab, a little nudge. I think it’s [her companion] Ken [Davidoff]’s camera bag, that was my first instinct. I turn around and there’s Donald. He sort of looked away quickly. I quickly turned back, facing Ray Charles, and I’m stunned.”

McGillivray said she remembers saying to herself, “’OK, am I going to say something now and make a scene or be quiet?’ I chose to stay quiet.”

Asked about the possibility that what she felt was Trump or someone accidentally bumping into her, McGillivray said no. “This was a pretty good nudge. More of a grab,” she said. “It was pretty close to the centre of my [expletive]. I was startled. I jumped.”

Davidoff told the newspaper that he didn’t witness the alleged groping but that he spoke about it with McGillivray immediately afterward and that McGillivray told him, “Donald just grabbed my [expletive].”

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told the paper, “There is no truth to this whatsoever ... This allegation lacks any merit or veracity.”

Tasha Dixon

Miss Arizona

The local CBS station in Los Angeles reported late Tuesday that a woman who was once Miss Arizona in the Miss USA pageant said Trump came strolling into a room in which some contestants were naked in 2001.

“Our first introduction to him was when we were at the dress rehearsal and half naked changing into our bikinis,” Tasha Dixon, who was then 18, recalled. “He just came strolling right in. There was no second to put a robe on or any sort of clothing or anything. Some girls were topless. Other girls were naked.”

Dixon said the women were in a “physically vulnerable position, and then to have the pressure of the people that worked for him telling us to go fawn all over him, go walk up to him, talk to him, get his attention.”

Miss Washington

Another pageant contestant, 2013 Miss Washington Cassandra Searles, wrote in a Facebook post earlier this year that Trump essentially treated the contestants “like cattle.”

Trump alluded to his ability to walk into such rooms during a 2005 interview with Howard Stern, as reported by CNN over the weekend: “I’ll go backstage before a show, and everyone’s getting dressed and ready and everything else,” he said. “And you know, no men are anywhere. And I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant. And therefore I’m inspecting it. ‘Is everyone OK?’ You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. And you see these incredible-looking women. And so I sort of get away with things like that.”

In light of the weekend’s developments, the post from Searles is getting new attention. And Rolling Stone on Wednesday discovered another, newly reported follow-up comment, in which Searles writes, “He probably doesn’t want me telling the story about that time he continually grabbed my [expletive] and invited me to his hotel room.”