NOT JUST TALK

Four Women Describe Nonconsensual Touching by Trump

Five days after video emerged in which Donald Trump boasted of kissing and groping women without their consent, a former reporter for People wrote that Trump pushed her up against a wall and forcibly kissed her in 2005—while his heavily pregnant wife Melania was in another room. Writer Natasha Stoynoff says the incident happened when she was at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club on assignment to do a feature on the couple’s wedding anniversary. After Melania went into another room to change her clothes, Trump took Stoynoff to show her a “tremendous” room elsewhere in the house. “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,” Stoynoff wrote in an account published by People on Wednesday night. The encounter was interrupted only by Trump’s butler walking in, Stoynoff wrote. A spokeswoman for Trump has called the account “fabricated” and said that “this never happened.”

Stoynoff’s accusations came just hours after several other women came forward with similar accounts. Mindy McGillivray, 36, told the Palm Beach Post that she was groped by Trump at Mar-a-Lago 13 years ago, when she was at the club helping photographer Ken Davidoff. After feeling someone grab her, McGillivray turned around “and there’s Donald,” she told the paper, describing shock and confusion. “OK, am I going to say something now and make a scene or be quiet?’ I chose to stay quiet,” she recalled thinking to herself. Davidoff confirmed her version of events, saying he clearly remembers McGillivray pulling him aside and saying, “Trump just grabbed my ass!”

Earlier Wednesday, The New York Times published a report in which Jessica Leeds, a 74-year-old woman from Manhattan, told her story on video about Trump raising the armrest separating their seats on a plane more than three decades ago and reaching up her skirt. “It was an assault,” she said. Another woman, Rachel Crooks, says she was a 22-year-old receptionist working in Trump Tower in 2005 when Trump cornered her outside an elevator and kissed her on the mouth. “It was so inappropriate,” Crooks told The Times. “I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that.”

In the 2005 video first revealed last Friday, Trump can be heard 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.” He then adds, “Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.” During the second presidential debate Sunday, Trump described those words as “locker-room talk” and claimed he never actually did any of those things to women.

In response to the Times story, senior communications adviser for the Trump campaign Jason Miller, said: “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.”