What started as a slow news day has all of a sudden hit the richter scale with multiple women coming forward alleging sexual misconduct against Donald Trump.
You’ll remember that during Sunday night’s debate, Mr. Trump initially skirted around answering a question about whether he had actually kissed or groped women without their consent, saying instead that “I have great respect for women. Nobody has more respect for women than I do.” When pressed, Mr. Trump said “No, I have not.”
Then new allegations began to trickle out yesterday with a piece posted by BuzzFeed News corroborating comments Donald Trump himself made several years ago on an episode of Howard Stern. In the comments with Stern, Trump admitted to walking into the dressing rooms of beauty pageants that he owned, unannounced, to ogle and objectify the naked women. He is heard on the tape saying “Well, I’ll tell you the funniest is that before a show, I’ll go backstage and everyone’s getting dressed, and everything else, 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.”
Miss Arizona, Tasha Dixon told Los Angeles’ CBS affiliate that Trump entered the Miss USA dressing room in 2001 when she was a contestant. She said “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. Others girls were naked. Our first introduction to him was when we were at the dress rehearsal and half-naked changing into our bikinis.” She goes on to allege that he said “Don’t worry, ladies, I’ve seen it all before.”
Then additional women came forward this morning alleging that, not only did he enter the dressing rooms of the Miss Universe pageant, but he also entered the dressing room at his Miss Teen USA pageant to ogle teenage girls as young as 15 years old. Mariah Billado, Miss Teen Vermont 1997 told BuzzFeed, “I remember putting on my dress really quick because I was like, ‘Oh my god, there’s a man in here.'” Three other teenage contestants from the same year confirmed the story. It should be noted that of the 15 women who were interviewed, none accused Trump of saying anything sexually explicit or of making physical contact with them in the dressing room. Several others went on record with BuzzFeed to say that they did not remember Trump entering the dressing room.
This afternoon two woman came forward to share with the New York Times how Donald Trump groped, touched, and kissed them inappropriately. Mrs Jessica Leeds said that more than three decades ago, when she was a traveling businesswoman at a paper company, she sat beside Mr. Trump in the first-class cabin of a flight to New York. They had never met before. About 45 minutes after takeoff, she recalled, Mr. Trump lifted the armrest and began to touch her. According to Ms. Leeds, Mr. Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt.
The other woman, Ms. Crooks was a 22-year-old receptionist at Bayrock Group, a real estate investment and development company in Trump Tower in Manhattan, when she encountered Mr. Trump outside an elevator in the building one morning 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.”
When contacted by Times for comment, Mr Trump said “None of this ever took place.” He then allegedly 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. Asked whether he had ever done any of the kissing or groping that he had described on the recording, Mr. Trump was once again insistent: “I don’t do it. I don’t do it. It was locker room talk.”
Then, this evening, yet another woman came forward to allege that Donald Trump groped her during a visit to his Mar-a-Lago estate. Mindy McGillivray, 36, alleged that she was groped by Trump at Mar-a-Lago 13 years ago. She said she never reported it to authorities, but her companion that day, photographer Ken Davidoff, vividly remembers when McGillivray pulled him aside moments after the alleged incident and told him, ‘’Donald just grabbed my ass!’’ She said she was watching as Trump denied groping women during Sunday night’s Presidential debate and says she “rose from her couch and yelled at the TV screen: ‘You liar!’’’ According to Davidoff, it was Jan. 24, 2003, when he and his father, the late Palm Beach society photographer Bob Davidoff, took photos at Mar-a-Lago during a concert by Ray Charles. Bob Davidoff for years was the Kennedys’ favored photographer in Palm Beach.
When pressed for comment, the Trump campaign flatly denied this allegation tonight with Trump Press Secretary, Hope Hicks saying “There is no truth to this whatsoever, this allegation lacks any merit or veracity.”
But that’s not all! Another report out tonight alleges that Mr. Trump forced himself upon a People Magazine reporter named Natasha Stoynoff during a visit to Mar-a-Largo. In her own words she says “We walked into that room alone, and Trump shut the door behind us. I turned around, and within seconds, he was pushing me against the wall, and forcing his tongue down my throat.” Trump then smiled, leaned forward, and said “You know we’re going to have an affair, don’t you? Have you ever been to Peter Luger’s for steaks? I’ll take you. We’re going to have an affair, I’m telling you.”
You remember that we reported last Friday how Mr. Trump said in a 2005 Access Hollywood video clip that “When you’re a star they let you do it, grab them by the pussy, you can do anything.”
It should also be noted that these allegations are hardly the first allegations against Donald Trump for sexual misconduct. The New York Times reported on October 7th about another alleged case of him groping a woman by the name of Jill Harth. Mrs. Harth’s account is corraborated by her husband who was present at the time Mr.s Harth alleges that Mr. Trump groped her. Mr. Trump also has an active child rape case against him by a young woman who claims that he raped her in 1994 when she was just 13 years old.
The Clinton campaign has responded tonight with a statement saying “This disturbing story sadly fits everything we know about the way Donald Trump has treated women. These reports suggest that he lied on the debate stage and that the disgusting behavior he bragged about in the tape are more than just words.”
Mr. Trump and his campaign are reportedly contemplating lawsuits against the New York Times and other news outlets for publishing the above mentioned allegations. We at the Pacific Tribune publish news as it is reported by other outlets, and none of the reporting within this post is original Pacific Tribune investigative reporting. Furthermore, it should be noted that there are numerous historical Supreme Court precedents that protect the press from libel suits lodged by political candidates. Most notably (and somewhat ironically), New York Times v. Sullivan, in which the Supreme Court established the actual malice standard, which has to be met before press reports about public officials can be considered to be defamation or libel. If Mr. Trump would like to take legal action against us, he is certainly welcome to do so. We are based in Washington, a state with strong anti-SLAPP statutes governing frivolous suits against media organizations reporting the news.