As if the (in)famous Access Hollywood audio sex tape that decimated Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign, wasn’t enough, his campaign is now in full denial/spin/CYA mode due to a breaking New York Times story. In interviews with the Times, two women say Donald Trump touched them inappropriately.
Donald J. Trump was emphatic in the second presidential debate: Yes, he had boasted about kissing women without permission and grabbing their genitals. But he had never actually done those things, he said.
“No,” he declared under questioning on Sunday evening, “I have not.”
At that moment, sitting at home in Manhattan, Jessica Leeds, 74, felt he was lying to her face. “I wanted to punch the screen,” she said in an interview in her apartment.
More than three decades ago, when she was a traveling businesswoman at a paper company, Ms. Leeds said, 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.
“He was like an octopus,” she said. “His hands were everywhere.”
And the other woman?
Mr. Trump’s claim that his crude words had never turned into actions was similarly infuriating to a woman watching on Sunday night in Ohio: Rachel Crooks.
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.
Go to the story to read it in full.
Trump is now facing a major onslaught and seems in constant defense mode — which he responds to with wilder attempts to go on the offense.
Once he made that statement at the last debate, it was then clear that if there were women who he groped, they would come forward to the press. Journalists call all attest how this happens: in a scandal, once a solid news story comes out, it brings others forward who might have been fearful. This particularly is the case in allegations of sexual misconduct.
Expect more. And expect to hear much more from Attorney Gloria Allred.
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign is vowing to blast back — with allegations about former President Bill Clinton that, they say, will make him look like Bill Cosby.
(Is Bill Clinton running against Hillary this year, too?
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.