The furor over sexual assault allegations against Donald Trump intensified Friday, as more girls came forward while the Republican nominee repudiated the mounting claims as 100 percent made up and even asserted New York Times journalists are doing the bidding of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.
The two most recent accusations surfaced in a news report and at a press conference. The Washington Post reported earlier Friday on a womans claim that Trump set his hand up her skirt and groped her at a Manhattan nightspot in the early ‘9 0s.
Later Friday, former The Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos said Trump kissed her and groped her after meeting at a Beverly Hills hotel in 2007 to discuss a potential job. Zervos, accompanied at a Los Angeles press conference by lawyer Gloria Allred, said she was later offered a lower-paying chore at a Trump golf course.
You do not have the right to treat girls as sex objects only because you are a starring, Zervos said at the press conference, addressing Trump.
Allred, who frequently represents women bringing sexual harassment and assault claims, said many more women have contacted her regarding the Republican nominee after a video emerged of Trump stimulating lewd comments about women in 2005 comments Trump apologized for, but dismissed as locker room talk.
Allred said Zervos is not filing a suit at this time.
Late Friday, the Trump campaign released a statement purporting to be from statement in which a cousin of Zervos said he was “shocked and bewildered” by her account.
John Barry of Mission Viejo, Calif ., said in the statement that Zervos spoke glowingly of Trump until the real estate mogul rebuffed an invitation to visit her eatery during the primary campaign.
I guess Summer wants she could still be on reality Tv, and in an attempt to get that back shes saying all of these negative things about Mr. Trump, ” Barry said. “Thats not how she talked about him before.”
The press conference, though, capped a tumultuous week on the campaign trail for Trump, who has faced a daily drip-drip of allegations even as he has tried to focus on Bill Clinton’s female accusers — and the massive leak of Clinton campaign emails by WikiLeaks.
As Zervos was making her accusations Friday, Trump was at a rally in Greensboro, N.C ., rejecting all the allegations against him as total fiction.
I have no idea who these women are, Trump said. The narratives are total fiction. Theyre 100 percentage made up.
He continued to expand on his argument that the claims are part of a conspiracy relating to the Clinton campaign and what he calls the corrupted media in particular the New York Times, which kick-started the reports of sexual misconduct earlier this week. Trump previously threatened to sue the Times over allegations they published from two women who claim Trump groped them.
On Friday, Trump ran after the Times again, indicating the reporters were acting at the behest of Slim, the largest shareholder in the Times.
Now, Carlos Slim, as you know, comes from Mexico. Hes given many millions of dollars to the Clintons and their initiatives, Trump said. Reporters at The New York Times, theyre not journalists. Theyre corporate lobbyists for Carlos Slim and for Hillary Clinton.
Trump then claimed the dispute was a total setup consisting of lies spread by the media as a style to undermine his campaign. He ran so far as to taunt his accusers, making fun of one who told the Times he groped her on an airplane in the early 1980 s.
The only way they can figure they can slacken it down is to come up with people that are willing to say Oh I was with Donald Trump in 1980, he said, putting on a voice taunting his accusers. ‘I was sitting with him on an airplane and he went after me on the plane. Yeah, I’m gonna go after you
Believe me, he added. She would not be my first choice, I can tell you.
Trump released a statement late Friday denying Zervos’ claims.
“I vaguely remember Ms. Zervos as one of the many contestants on The Apprentice over the years, ” Trump said. “To be clear, I never met her at a hotel or greeted her inappropriately ten years ago. That is not who I am as a person, and it is not how Ive conducted my life.”
Trump also disputed the latest account reported by the Post. Campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks, too, in a statement called it a “total fabrication.” She said, “It is illogical and nonsensical to suppose Donald Trump was alone in a nightclub in Manhattan.”
According to the Post, Kristin Anderson claimed that while she was at the Manhattan nightspot in the early 1990 s, Trump slid his thumbs under her miniskirt and fondled her.
One of the accusers who came forward earlier this week, Mindy McGillivray of Palm Springs, Fla ., told the Palm Beach Post Friday that she was planning to leave the United States because she feared for their own families security. She told the times automobiles had been driving around her house.
As Trump ratched up his attacks Friday on the means and his accusers, Democrats have been seizing on the accounts as proof that Trump is unfit for office. On Thursday, first lady Michelle Obama launched a scathing attack on the billionaire and the comments he made on the 2005 tape.
“We have a candidate for president of the United States who over the course of his lifetime, over the course of this campaign, has said things about women the hell is shocking, so demeaning, ” she said. “I simply will not recur anything here today. Last week, we actually saw this candidate bragging about sexually assaulting girls. I can’t believe I’m went on to say that, a candidate for president of the United States bragged about sexually assaulting women.”
On Friday, President Obama followed up, saying Trump was determined to drag this election as low as he can possibly go and warned that democracy is on the ballot in November.
The Associated Press contributed to this report .
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