Two women have come forward with claims that Donald Trump violated them physically, a new report says.
Jessica Leeds of New York and Rachel Crooks of Ohio both detailed encounters with the Republican presidential nominee to the New York Times on Wednesday. Trump vehemently denied the claims and even began shouting at the Times reporter who asked him about them.
“He was like an octopus,” Leeds, 74, said of her alleged run-in with Trump, more than 30 years ago on an airplane.
“His hands were everywhere,” she said, adding that Trump had lifted the arm rest separating them and, as the Times paraphrased it, “grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt.”
Crooks, 33, said she was working as a receptionist at a company housed in Trump Tower in 2005 when she met Trump — who allegedly shook her hand, would not let go and “kissed me directly on the mouth.”
“None of this ever took place,” Trump told the paper, which noted that he “began shouting at The Times reporter who was questioning him.”
“You are a disgusting human being,” Trump said to the journalist.
In response to the New York Times story, the Trump campaign sent the following statement, attributed to senior communications advisor Jason Miller, to TheWrap:
“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. To reach back decades in an attempt to smear Mr. Trump trivializes sexual assault, and it sets a new low for where the media is willing to go in its efforts to determine this election.
“It is absurd to think that one of the most recognizable business leaders on the planet with a strong record of empowering women in his companies would do the things alleged in this story, and for this to only become public decades later in the final month of a campaign for president should say it all.
“Further, the Times story buries the pro-Clinton financial and social media activity on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, reinforcing that this truly is nothing more than a political attack. This is a sad day for the Times.”
The report comes on the heels of Sunday’s presidential debate, where a major topic was the leak of off-camera audio from an old “Access Hollywood” interview, in which Trump said he could have his way with women thanks to his fame.
Debate moderator Anderson Cooper asked Trump if he had ever acted on his claims — including the now-famous assertion that he could “grab ‘em by the pu–y.” Trump demurred, saying the audio was “locker room talk.”
Leeds told The Times that she wanted to trash her TV after hearing Trump dismiss the remarks — which are widely believed to have finally deflated Trump’s campaign.
Neither Leeds nor Crooks reported their encounters to authorities, the report noted. Leeds discussed a widespread culture of unwanted touches during her time as a professional in the ’70s and ’80s.
“We accepted it for years,” she said of the conduct. “We were taught it was our fault.”