Trump Dismisses Sexual Assault Stories as “Fabricated” and “Pure Fiction”
In an article published Wednesday by The New York Times, two women describe how Donald Trump sexually harassed them: one said Trump groped her 36 years ago when she sat next to him on an airplane. The other said he forcibly kissed her on the lips in 2005, when she was a secretary for one of his real estate firms in Manhattan. At a rally in West Palm Beach, Florida on Thursday, Trump, calling the women “horrible, horrible liars,” dismissed the charges as “all fabricated” and “pure fiction.” He claimed they were whipped up by the media and Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent.
“These vicious claims about me, of inappropriate conduct with women, are totally and absolutely false. And the Clintons know it,” Trump said at the rally.
A spate of sexual assault accusations involving the Republican presidential hopeful have surfaced in the days following a leaked tape in which Trump, in 2005, brags about forcing himself on women because he’s a “star.” Aside from the two women who shared their stories with the Times, Natasha Stoynoff, a writer with PEOPLE Magazine, recounted an incident from 2005 in which Trump assaulted her at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
“We walked into that room alone,” Stoynoff wrote, referencing a “tremendous” room Trump showed her while giving her a tour of his mansion. “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 vociferously denied all of these reports on Thursday in front of a boisterous crowd, saying:
And so now we address the slander and libels that was just last night thrown at me by the Clinton machine and the New York Times and other media outlets, as part of a concerted, coordinated and vicious attack. It’s not coincidence that these attacks come at the exact same moment, and all together at the same time as WikiLeaks releases documents exposing the massive international corruption of the Clinton machine, including 2,000 more e-mails just this morning.
Trump’s attorneys, meanwhile, threatened the Times, saying it would be sued for libel unless they took the article down. Times’ Vice President and Assistant General Counsel David McCraw responded in a letter:
“Nothing in our article has had the slightest effect on the reputation that Mr. Trump, through his own words and actions, has already created for himself,” he wrote, adding: “If Mr. Trump disagrees, if he believes that American citizens had no right to hear what these women had to say and that the law of this country forces us and those who would dare to criticize him to stand silent or be punished, we welcome the opportunity to have a court set him straight.”