Donald Trump said during Sunday’s presidential debate that his bragging about kissing and touching women without their consent — caught on a hot mic in an explosive 2005 video — was “locker-room talk” and that he never actually groped anyone.
“No, I have not,” Trump told Anderson Cooper, the debate’s co-moderator.
But four women have come forward in news articles published Wednesday night, alleging they were inappropriately touched by the Republican nominee in separate incidents.
Here are the four women and a summary of their allegations. Trump has denied all four of the accusations and claimed the women’s stories were fabricated.
Leeds told the New York Times that in the early 1980s she was seated next to Trump on a flight to New York City.
About 45 minutes after takeoff, Leeds said, Trump lifted the armrest and began to touch her, grabbing her breasts and attempting to put his hand up her skirt.
“He was like an octopus,” Leeds said. “His hands were everywhere.”
Leeds fled to the back of the plane.
“It was an assault,” she said.
“He was like an octopus,” said a woman who sat next to Trump on a plane. “His hands were everywhere.” https://t.co/FrF5IlaGZj
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 13, 2016
Crooks told the Times that in 2005 Trump kissed her on the mouth at Trump Tower in New York City without her consent.
Crooks, then a 22-year-old receptionist at a real estate investment and development company located inside Trump’s Manhattan high-rise, said she encountered Trump outside an elevator 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.”
Shaken, Ms. Crooks returned to her desk and immediately called her sister, Brianne Webb, in the small town in Ohio where they grew up, and told her what had happened.
“She was very worked up about it,” said Ms. Webb, who recalled pressing her sister for details. “Being from a town of 1,600 people, being naïve, I was like ‘Are you sure he didn’t just miss trying to kiss you on the cheek?’ She said, ‘No, he kissed me on the mouth.’ I was like, ‘That is not normal.’”
A lawyer for the Republican nominee issued a letter accusing the Times of libel and demanding a retraction from the paper. The candidate himself responded on Twitter, calling the story “phony” and a “total fabrication.”
The phony story in the failing @nytimes is a TOTAL FABRICATION. Written by same people as last discredited story on women. WATCH!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2016
Reached for comment, the Times said it would not back down in the face of Trump’s legal threat. “We stand by the story, which falls clearly into the realm of public service journalism,” a Times rep told Yahoo News.
Stoynoff, a People magazine writer, says that Trump forced himself on her in 2005 at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, where she was conducting a joint interview with the real estate mogul and his wife, Melania.
“In December 2005, around the time Trump had his now infamous conversation with Billy Bush, I traveled to Mar-a-Lago to interview the couple for a first-wedding-anniversary feature story,” Stoynoff recalled in an essay for People on Wednesday. “Our photo team shot the Trumps on the lush grounds of their Florida estate, and I interviewed them about how happy their first year of marriage had been. When we took a break for the then-very-pregnant Melania to go upstairs and change wardrobe for more photos, Donald wanted to show me around the mansion. There was one ‘tremendous’ room in particular, he said, that I just had to see.”
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.
Now, I’m a tall, strapping girl who grew up wrestling two giant brothers. I even once sparred with Mike Tyson. It takes a lot to push me. But Trump is much bigger — a looming figure — and he was fast, taking me by surprise and throwing me off balance. I was stunned. And I was grateful when Trump’s longtime butler burst into the room a minute later, as I tried to unpin myself.
The butler informed us that Melania would be down momentarily, and it was time to resume the interview.
I was still in shock and remained speechless as we both followed him to an outdoor patio overlooking the grounds. … The butler left us, and I fumbled with my tape recorder. Trump smiled and leaned forward.
“You know we’re going to have an affair, don’t you?” he declared, in the same confident tone he uses when he says he’s going to make America great again. “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.”
The candidate tweeted that the alleged incident never happened.
Why didn’t the writer of the twelve year old article in People Magazine mention the “incident” in her story. Because it did not happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2016
McGillivray told the Palm Beach Post that she was groped by Trump at Mar-a-Lago in 2003.
McGillivray, who was 23 at the time, said she never reported it to authorities. But she told photographer Ken Davidoff, who was taking photos at a Ray Charles concert hosted by the club, that “Donald just grabbed my ass!”
“Ray already performed. He’s ready to leave. He’s saying his goodbyes to everyone,” McGillivray recalled. “All of a sudden I felt a grab, a little nudge. I think it’s Ken’s camera bag, that was my first instinct. I turn around and there’s Donald. He sort of looked away quickly. I quickly turned back, facing Ray Charles, and I’m stunned.”
— The Palm Beach Post (@pbpost) October 12, 2016
“There is no truth to this whatsoever,” Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told Yahoo News.
Taggart, a former Miss Utah, told NBC News that Trump “embraced me and gave me a kiss on the lips” in 1997, when she was a 21-year-old Miss USA pageant contestant.
Taggart said Trump, who owned the Miss Universe pageant at the time, later offered to help her get contracts with elite modeling agencies:
And during a visit to Trump Tower in Manhattan at Trump’s invitation, he again embraced and kissed her on the lips, this time in front of two pageant chaperones and a receptionist.
The New York encounter made one of the chaperones so “uncomfortable” that she advised McDowell not to go into any rooms with Trump alone, McDowell said. The other chaperone accompanied her into Trump’s office, she said.
Taggart had previously spoken out about the incident, but offered more details Wednesday in light of lewd comments Trump made in the 2005 video.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 13, 2016
“I don’t even know who she is,” Trump told NBC News. “She claims this took place in a public area. I never kissed her. I emphatically deny this ridiculous claim.”
A campaign on the brink
In the videotape released Friday by the Washington Post, Trump was heard boasting to then “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush that he could do anything he wanted to with women because of his celebrity status — including groping them.
“I just kiss. I don’t even wait,” Trump said. “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the p****. You can do anything.”
The vulgar tape was fiercely denounced by a cascade of Republican leaders, some of whom withdrew their endorsements or called for him to exit the race. With less than 30 days to go before Election Day, Trump has been fighting back against those GOP critics while escalating his attacks against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
For her part, the Clinton campaign issued a Wednesday night statement blasting Trump over the latest allegations.
“This disturbing story sadly fits everything we know about the way Donald Trump has treated women,” Jennifer Palmieri, the campaign’s communications director, said in the statement. “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.”