Multiple women came forward with sexual assault and harassment accusations against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday night. Two women, Jessica Leeds and Rachel Crooks, spoke out to the New York Times, while Mindy McGillivray talked to the Palm Beach Post and Cassandra Searles wrote about her accusation on Facebook. Natasha Stoynoff, a journalist, wrote about her experience with Trump in People. The new claims by five women are in addition to other accusations made in lawsuits and other media reports. The latest accusations also come a week after a tape of Trump talking with Access Hollywood host Billy Bush about women in a vulgar manner, saying, "You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. ... Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything." Trump has called the tape "locker room talk," and said during Sunday night's second presidential debate that he never acted in the way he talked in the video. "I have great respect for women, nobody has more respect for women than I do," Trump said in response to a question from CNN's Anderson Cooper. "I said things, that frankly, you hear these things I said, and I was embarrassed by it. But I have tremendous respect for women and women have tremendous respect for me." Cooper pressed, "But have you ever done those things?," and Trump replied, "No, I have not." The women who came forward Wednesday night said they were influenced to do so after hearing his denial during the debate. Jason Miller, the senior communications adviser for Trump's campaign, denied the latest reports in a statement Wednesday night, specifically addressing the accusations in the New York Times by Leeds and Crooks:
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 campaign has also pointed toward accusations of sexual assault and misconduct made against Bill Clinton in an effort to deflect the latest allegations made against Trump. Click through the gallery to read about the women who have accused Trump of sexual assault, harassment and other misconduct, both Wednesday night and throughout the campaign. (Getty)
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