Three of the 16 women accusing President Trump of sexual misconduct appeared Monday on “Megyn Kelly Today” to revive claims they’d made prior to last year’s election
Gear up for round two.
Three of the 16 women accusing President Trump of sexual misconduct appeared Monday on “Megyn Kelly Today” to revive claims they’d made prior to last year’s election and later called for a congressional probe — with one calling his win despite their coming forward “heartbreaking.”
“We’re private citizens, and for us to put ourselves out there to try and show America who this man is and especially how he views women, and for them to say, ‘Meh, we don’t care,’ it hurt,” said Samantha Holvey, who was Miss North Carolina 2006. “And so, you know, now it’s just like, all right, let’s try round two. The environment’s different. Let’s try again.”
Holvey, appearing alongside accusers Rachel Crooks and Jessica Leeds in the midst of a movement that’s seen dozens of high-profile men punished for alleged sexual misconduct, recounted her allegation of Trump’s behavior during the 2006 Miss America pageant. In her first interaction with him — what she believed would be a “meet and greet” — Trump looked her over “like I was just a piece of meat,” she alleged.
“I was not a human being. I didn’t have a brain, I didn’t have a personality,” she said. “I was just simply there for his pleasure. It left me feeling very gross, very dirty, like, ‘This is not what I signed up for.’” The eventual President later came backstage when women were clad in only robes, she alleged. “He comes in like he owns the place and like he owns you, and is just looking at us, eyeing us up and down.”
Crooks recalled introducing herself to the mogul near an elevator bank in Trump Tower, where she was a receptionist in 2005 — alleging he shook her hand at first and gave her a double-cheek kiss. “But then he held onto my hand and he kept kissing me,” she said. “I don’t know how many times back and forth — multiple — and then he kissed me on the lips. And I was shocked … Devastated. It happened so fast … I wish I would’ve been courageous enough to be like, ‘What’s going on?’ and ‘You need to stop this.’” Crooks says she hid in her boss’s office and called her sister to say, “I don’t know what just happened but I felt horrible.” Days later, she claimed, Trump came by to ask for her number.
And Leeds, who went public with her allegations in a New York Times story published a month before the presidential election, retold her alleged encounter with Trump in the late 1970s aboard an airplane. “All of a sudden, he’s all over me. Kissing and groping, and groping and kissing … It was just this silent groping going on,” she said, recalling wondering why the man across the aisle and the flight attendant didn’t come to her aid. “When his hand started going up my skirt … I managed to wiggle out and stand up, grab my purse, and I went to the back of the airplane.” She says she didn’t complain to her boss or the airline at the time, thinking of Trump as “some creep on the airplane.”
But Leeds landed at a job in New York three years later, she said, and ran into Trump and his first wife at a gala. “He stands there and he says, ‘I remember you. You were that … woman from that airplane.’ He called me the worst name ever,” she said, confirming to Kelly that the word began with a “C.” “It’s the worst name ever.”
Midway through Kelly’s interview, the White House issued a statement once again dismissing the women’s allegations. “The false claims, totally disputed in most cases by eyewitness accounts, were addressed at length during last year’s campaign, and the American people voiced their judgment by delivering a decisive victory,” it said. “The timing and absurdity of these false claims speaks volumes and the publicity tour that has begun only further confirms the political motives behind them.”
But the women denied their allegations was politically motivated. “I can’t imagine anyone wanting to come into the spotlight about this,” Crooks said. “I would much rather be of public interest for something great that I accomplished, not something negative that happened to me. … The things that happened to us spanned decades, states, all over. … Have we, you know, colluded to come up with these tales that all sound so eerily similar?”
The three women, joined by a fourth accuser, Lisa Boyne, later gave a news conference in New York calling for a congressional investigation into the harassment and assault allegations against the President.
Trump has repeatedly denied the allegations against him, and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has maintained that the President believes the women are lying. On Sunday, however, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley broke from the administration’s message to say her boss’s accusers “should be heard.”
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